Law with the Broncos in 2009
|No. 24, 22, 26|
|Born:||February 10, 1974|
|Height:||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight:||200 lb (91 kg)|
|NFL Draft:||1995 / Round: 1 / Pick: 23|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Tajuan E. "Ty" Law (born February 10, 1974) is a former American football cornerback who played fifteen seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Michigan. He was drafted by the New England Patriots 23rd overall in the 1995 NFL Draft. Law is a two-time All-Pro, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, a Pro Bowl MVP, and has won three Super Bowls with the Patriots. His 53 career interceptions rank 24th all-time in NFL history; he is widely regarded as one of the best defensive backs of all time. Law was added to the New England Patriots Hall of Fame as its 20th member and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2019.
- 1 Early years
- 2 College career
- 3 Professional career
- 4 Retirement
- 5 References
Law attended Aliquippa High School in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, in Beaver County, Pennsylvania where he played football, basketball and ran track. He played in football as a cornerback, safety, wide receiver, and running back. He was named MVP of the school's basketball team.
Law had a three-year stint at the University of Michigan where he lettered three years in a row (1992–94), earned first-team All-American honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation as a junior and was a two-time unanimous All-Big Ten Conference selection. He was on the cover of the October 3, 1994 issue of Sports Illustrated, though it was an ignominious honor: he is the defender over whom Colorado Buffaloes receiver Michael Westbrook is leaping on the famous Miracle at Michigan play. Following his junior year, he left Michigan to enter the 1995 NFL Draft due to financial hardship after his grandfather declared bankruptcy.
He finished his college career with 154 tackles [120 solo, 34 assist], 6 interceptions, and 17 passes defended.
New England Patriots
On July 20, 1995, the New England Patriots signed Law to a five-year, $5.50 million contract. Throughout training camp, Law competed to be a starting cornerback against Maurice Hurst. Head coach Bill Parcells names Law the third cornerback on the Patriots’ depth chart, behind Ricky Reynolds and Maurice Hurst.
He made his professional regular season debut in the New England Patriots’ season-opener against the Cleveland Browns, ironically against Bill Belichick. On October 1, 1995, Law earned his first career start and made four combined tackles during a 30-17 loss at the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4. He missed two games (Weeks 8-9) due to an injury. Law became a starting cornerback in Week 12 after the Patriots released Maurice Hurst. On November 26, 1995, Law made six combined tackles, deflected a pass, and made his first career interception against the Buffalo Bills off of Jim Kelly. In Week 15, he collected a season-high eight combined tackles, broke up a pass deflection, and intercepted a pass attempt by Jets’ quarterback Boomer Esiason during a 31-28 win against the New York Jets. He made an interception in three consecutive games since taking over the starting role. In Week 17, he collected a season-high eight solo tackles and made his first career sack during a 10-7 loss at the Indianapolis Colts. Law sacked Colts’ quarterback Jim Harbaugh for a six-yard loss during the first quarter. He finished his rookie season in 1995 with 47 combined tackles (40 solo), nine pass deflections, three interceptions, and one sack in 14 games and seven starts.
Former Cleveland Browns head coach Bill Belichick became the assistant head coach for the New England Patriots in 1996. Law and Rickey Reynolds retained their roles as starting cornerbacks. On October 20, 1996, Law collected a season-high 12 combined tackles (ten solo) and deflected two passes during a 27-9 victory at the Indianapolis Colts in Week 8. Law was inactive for three games (Weeks 11-13) due to an injury. On December 8, 1996, Law recorded one tackle, deflected a pass, and returned an interception for his first career touchdown as the Patriots defeated the New York Jets 34-10 in Week 15. Law intercepted a pass by Jets’ quarterback Glenn Foley, that was intended for wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, and returned it for a 38-yard touchdown during the third quarter. In Week 16, Law made seven solo tackles, a season-high three pass deflections, and intercepted two pass attempts by Troy Aikman during a 12-6 loss at the Dallas Cowboys. He finished the 1996 NFL season with 62 combined tackles (56 solo), nine pass deflections, three interceptions, and one touchdown in 13 games and 12 starts.
The New England Patriots finished first in the AFC East with an 11–5 record and earned a first round bye. On January 5, 1997, Law started in his first career playoff game and made three combined tackles during a 28–3 victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Divisional Round. The following week, he recorded four tackle as the Patriots defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 20–6 during the AFC Championship Game. On January 26, 1997, Law started in Super Bowl XXXI and made three combined tackles during a 35–21 loss against the Green Bay Packers.
On January 31, 1997, New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Parcells resigned five days after their loss in Super Bowl XXXI. On February 3, 1997, the New England Patriots announced their decision to hire San Francisco 49ers’ defensive coordinator Pete Carroll as their new head coach.
Law returned as the No. 1 cornerback in 1997 and started alongside Jimmy Hitchcock. In Week 15, he collected a season-high nine solo tackles during a 26-20 victory at the Jacksonville Jaguars. He started in all 16 games in 1997 and made 77 combined tackles (69 solo), 11 pass deflections, three interceptions, and was credited with half a sack.
Patriots’ head coach Pete Carroll named Law and Chris Canty the starting cornerbacks to begin the regular season. On September 13, 1998, Law recorded two solo tackles, three pass deflections, intercepted two passes, and returned one for a touchdown during a 29-6 win against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2. Law intercepted a pass by Colts’ quarterback Peyton Manning, that was intended for tight end Marcus Pollard, and returned it for 59-yard touchdown during the first quarter. In Week 8, Law collected a season-high seven solo tackles, deflected two passes, and made one interception during a 12-9 overtime loss at the Miami Dolphins. On November 8, 1998, Law made four combined tackles, two pass deflections, and intercepted two passes by Chris Chandler as the Patriots lost 41-10 against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 10. Law started in all 16 games in 1998 and recorded 70 combined tackles (60 solo), 32 pass deflections, nine interceptions, and one touchdown. Law became the first member of the New England Patriots to lead the league in interceptions and was also voted to the 1999 Pro Bowl to mark the first of his career.
On August 21, 1999, the New England Patriots signed Law to a six-year, $50 million contract extension that includes a signing bonus of $14 million. On October 17, 1999, Law collected a season-high nine combined tackles, two pass deflections, and returned an interception by Dolphins’ quarterback Dan Marino for a 27-yard touchdown during the first quarter of the Patriots’ 31-30 loss against the Miami Dolphins in Week 6. Law missed two games (Weeks 15-16) due to a broken hand. On December 29, 1999, the New England Patriots placed Law on injured reserve due to his broken hand. He finished the season with 57 combined tackles (48 solo), nine pass deflections, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, and one touchdown.
On January 3, 2000, the New England Patriots fired head coach Pete Carroll after they finished the season with an 8-8 record. On January 27, 2000, the New England Patriots announced former New York Jets’ defensive coordinator Bill Belichick as their new head coach. Belichick named Law and Antonio Langham as the starting cornerback tandem to begin 2000. In Week 3, he collected a season-high nine combined tackles during a 21-13 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs. On December 18, 2000, Law was stopped by U.S, Customs officials in Niagara Falls, New York while crossing the Rainbow Bridge. During the routine inspection, officials found three whole ecstasy pills and four that were partially crushed. Law and teammates Terry Glenn and Troy Brown were returning from visiting an adult nightclub in Canada. Federal prosecutors declined to prosecute Law due to the small amount. U.S. Customs seized the drug and fined Law $700. On December 20, 2000, New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick announced his decision to suspend Law for the final game of the season. He finished the season with 74 combined tackles (58 solo), 11 pass deflections, and two interceptions in 15 games and 15 starts.
Law earned his first Super Bowl ring with the Patriots in 2001. In Super Bowl XXXVI, he intercepted a Kurt Warner pass and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown, the first points of the game for the Patriots, who eventually won the game 20-17.
Law was voted to the Pro Bowl for the second consecutive year and for the fourth time in his career after the 2003 season. In 2003, he was part of a record-breaking Patriots defense that led the NFL in four key categories: opponents’ points per game (14.9), opponents’ passer rating (56.2), interceptions (29) and passing touchdowns surrendered (11). His physical play against some of the game's best receivers prompted the NFL to more strictly enforce the five-yard illegal contact rule on defensive backs after the 2003 season. In the AFC Championship Game against the Colts, Law intercepted three passes from Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, assisting his team to a 24-14 win and their second Super Bowl appearance in 3 years, where they defeated the Carolina Panthers 32-29.
On February 25, 2005 Law was released by the Patriots due to his $12,551,000 cap salary. Since then, he has represented the Patriots in a few games as an honorary team captain. In 2014, he was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame.
New York Jets
On August 8, 2005, the New York Jets signed Law to a three-year contract as an unrestricted free agent. The contract has incentives that could pay Law $28 million over the first three-years and also has options that total $50 million over seven-years. He then went on to have one of his best years there, gaining a career-high 10 interceptions. He was also the only Jet voted into the Pro Bowl (Jonathan Vilma was named to the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement to Miami's Zach Thomas, not by means of popular vote by the fans). Law was released by the New York Jets on February 22, 2006 as the Jets were a projected $26 million over the salary cap for 2006. He was due to make $7.6 million in 2006.
Kansas City Chiefs
On July 25, 2006, Law passed his physical with the Chiefs and signed a five-year deal worth $30 million. He reunited with coach Herman Edwards, under whom Law had played in the 2005 season hoping to strengthen the Chiefs' defense.
Second stint with Jets
Law signed with the Denver Broncos on November 7, 2009. This added to a defensive backfield that had 5 members over 30 years of age, with 20 Pro Bowl selections combined. His final game with the Broncos came January 3, 2010. He finished the season with 10 tackles, and 1 interception run back for 37 yards. He was released by the Broncos on February 24, 2010.
His time in Denver was short and uneventful, only lasting a season. It was his second choice, as he would have preferred to play in New England but settled for Denver. Even though his last season was in Denver, Law stated, "I am a Patriot for life."
After retiring from the NFL, Law founded Launch Trampoline Park, a chain of entertainment facilities based around large areas of connected trampolines. Launch currently has franchised locations across New England, with one park open in Delaware. The website of its Rhode Island location reports that Law makes frequent appearances there, where he participates in games of trampoline dodgeball with customers.
On May 19, 2014, Law was announced as the 2014 Patriots Hall of Fame Inductee. He was inducted on August 1. On February 2nd, 2019 he was selected to the NFL Hall of Fame class of 2019; he will be inducted on August 3, 2019 in Canton, Ohio.
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Law said... "Other than going back to New England, this would be the ideal situation for me.
- Reid, Levan. "Ty Law: 'I'm a Patriot For Life'". CBS Boston. CBS. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
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- "About Launch". Launch Corporation. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
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