The Patriots released cornerback Ty Law on Friday afternoon, ending the four-time Pro-Bowler's tenure with the team that drafted him in 1995. Law, considered one of the NFL's top shut-down corners, became expendable with the emergence of rookie Randall Gay and second-year man Asante Samuel. With Law's 2005 salary in the $9 million dollar range, the team felt the money could be better spent on other players. AsMichael Felger of The Boston Herald reports, the team is now closing in on a new contract for quarterback Tom Brady. Details could be available in the next couple of days, but Felger reports the deal will likely be in the 5-6 year range, and will help reduce the considerable cap figures Brady's contract calls for over the next two seasons.
Kevin Mannix of the Herald also looks at the Law cutting, pointing to the AFC Divisional Playoff win against Indianapolis. In that game, which New England won 20-3, the famed "patchwork secondary" shut down the league's most explosive offense without Law, indicating Law would have to be willing to take a serious pay cut to remain with the team. After all, as talented as Law is, he is nearly a decade older than those who filled in for him during his injury.
Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe relays some of Law's feelings on leaving the only professional team he's ever known. Law, who leaves New England tied with Raymond Clayborn for the franchise's interceptions record with 36, expressed his desire to continue his career with the same level of success he has had the past few years in New England. "I want to continue to win championships, not just divisions and playoff games," Law told Cafardo. "I want to go to a place where football is important, where the fans are just like they are here in New England."
Jerome Solomon of the Globe reports team owner Robert Kraft has mixed emotions regarding the release of Law. Kraft, who bought the team not long before Law was selected with a first-round pick, told the Globe he had warm affections for the cornerback, and hoped the team would be able to bring him back at some point to honor his contributions in some way.
Also in the Globe, Bill Griffith discusses possible new television deals in the works for the NFL. Mr. Kraft is described as a key member of the league's broadcast committee, a group that appears to have some innovative ideas to unveil in the near future.
The Providence Journal's NFL Notebook takes a look at a forced change in approach for NFL cornerbacks. Because of the new emphasis on the illegal contact rule, which penalizes defensive players for physical contact with receivers after the first five yards, corners jobs have become more challenging. The Journal looks at some of this year's college cornerback crop, a deep one that the Patriots may dip into themselves.
Finally, Michael Felger updated Tedy Bruschi's health in Friday's Herald. Felger relays positive reports regarding the health of the Pro-Bowl linebacker, and suggests Bruschi will address his situation sometime this week.