View Full Version : Law's not answer for needy Chiefs ?

03-03-2005, 09:40 AM

Law's not answer for needy Chiefs

Clark Judge March 1, 2005
By Clark Judge
SportsLine.com Senior Writer
Tell Clark your opinion!

You're the Kansas City Chiefs, and you're in the market for a free-agent cornerback. Already, there's public pressure to sign Ty Law, with one local columnist calling for a march on team president Carl Peterson's home to demand the move, but you're trying to be objective about this while weighing your options.

So what do you do? You don't sign Ty Law.

Ty Law's foot injury cost him most of the season and maybe some free-agent dollars. (Getty Images)
Ty Law's foot injury cost him most of the season and maybe some free-agent dollars. (Getty Images)
Not yet anyway. The Chiefs need cornerbacks like Mickey needs Minnie, but Law isn't the solution. The guy's season ended last year when he broke his left foot, and he's still on crutches and moving around with the aid of a scooter -- unable to work out for his suitors for weeks, maybe a month.

So let me ask you: Do you really want to sink megabucks into a 10-year veteran with a bad wheel?

I know, Ty Law is no ordinary cornerback. He had a marvelous career with the Patriots and should have been the Super Bowl MVP three years ago when he and his teammates shut down St. Louis and Kurt Warner. But he's not indispensable, and the Patriots proved that last season by winning the Super Bowl without him.

Plus, he just turned 31. I don't question his value; I question his cost and wonder about diminishing returns. His agent, Carl Poston, told the Boston Globe last year that his client "deserves to be the highest-paid cornerback in league history," and I assume he hasn't changed his mind. So why would you break the bank for Law when you could pursue younger cornerbacks like Samari Rolle, Fred Smoot or Ken Lucas?

Answer: You wouldn't. Or shouldn't. Not until you check out your options.

I know the Chiefs are desperate, but help is just around the corner in a free-agent market knee-deep in cornerbacks. The Chiefs can be as frantic as they please; they just better be smart, and it isn't smart to pass on Rolle to accommodate a public responding to a marquee name. The fact is that right now Rolle is a better option than Law. Lucas may be, too. The same goes for Smoot. And maybe Anthony Henry, too.

They're younger, healthier and, frankly, at this juncture they're less of a risk. What you don't know about them you can see for yourself in workouts; what you don't know about Law stays unknown until he can run. And he's at least three weeks, maybe a month, away from that date.

"It all depends on cost, injury and age," said a source close to the club. "I think the Chiefs have an interest in Law, but there are factors you have to consider here."

Kansas City has Rolle scheduled for a visit on Wednesday, and if you're a Chiefs' fan that's encouraging. Kansas City defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham knows of Rolle from his three years in Tennessee, and he knows better than most what he can do for his defense. My assumption is that he wants to make sure Rolle isn't handicapped by a knee injury that sidelined him last year, then pushes for his acquisition.

That makes sense. Rushing into signing Ty Law does not. Not now.

Law is 31; Rolle is 28. Law missed the last nine regular-season games with a fractured foot; Rolle missed the last five with a knee injury. Law finished his season on injured reserve; Rolle did not. Law was an All-Pro; so was Rolle. Law started in two Super Bowls; Rolle started in one. Law has 27 interceptions over the past six seasons; Rolle has 23.

But let's say Rolle goes elsewhere. Then what? Then you look at Lucas, who led the Seahawks in interceptions (6) and passes defensed (21) and didn't miss a start. Or you look at Smoot, who missed one start while leading the Redskins in passes defensed and fumble recoveries. Or maybe you check out the underrated Henry, who has 17 interceptions in his four years with the Browns -- including 10 his rookie season -- or Baltimore's Gary Baxter.

Henry is 28. Lucas is 26. So is Baxter. Smoot turns 26 in April.

I haven't even mentioned Miami's Patrick Surtain, largely because he's not a free agent. But he can be acquired, too, at the right price. The Dolphins granted Surtain permission to seek a deal and have talked to the Chiefs about a possible trade. But the cost of gaining Surtain is high, too high for the Chiefs' tastes, which means Kansas City can start combing free-agent prospects.

The bottom line is this: Kansas City should and will help its porous defense this year with a veteran cornerback. Ty Law might make sense from a football standpoint, but that's only if he's OK -- and while I suspect he will be, we really don't know. From a business standpoint, it never makes sense to sign a thirty-something veteran to a huge contract unless you're a player or two away from the Super Bowl.

Kansas City is not. They're many players away, which means they literally can't afford to consider Ty Law.

03-03-2005, 09:46 AM
I completely agree. Law is damaged goods, and even if he returns at his previous level, it won't be for long.

03-03-2005, 09:51 AM
You can't sign a guy who can't walk when you have as many needs as we do.

03-03-2005, 10:04 AM
just goes to show how really stupid Whitless is.

Just say no to Law

03-03-2005, 10:24 AM
This read was dead on, Jason got wacked.

If KC can get some good FA CB's & LB's and still have cap space, Law would make an excellent FS in his later years.

03-03-2005, 10:39 AM
Ty is superhuman and the writer of this article was paid by an unamed NFL team to dissuade The Chief's interest in him. This tactic seems to be working on a few Planeteers so far and the writer's finaciers certainly hope the discouragement of signing Law will spread to the Chief's head office ...if it hasn't already.