Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

08 Aug 2005

Law Nearly on Books

It looks like Ty Law will stay in the AFC East, but now he's a New York Jet. The deal has been worked out between the two sides and now Law just needs to pass a physical. The New York Daily News reports that the Jets will give him a four-year deal that includes at least $7 million in guarantees. Given that an injured Law was seen riding around on a scooter as recently as the Super Bowl, $7 million sounds like a lot. Especially when you consider that the Jets may have to restructure some contracts or cut a player to fit Law in under the salary cap.

Posted by: P. Ryan Wilson on 08 Aug 2005

26 comments, Last at 11 Aug 2005, 4:51pm by masocc


by Mike (not verified) :: Mon, 08/08/2005 - 11:16am

It would be the height of irony (although convenient from Bellichek's point of view) if the Jets were to end up cutting a LB to fit law in, and the Pats pick up that LB to replace one of their missing ones. Unlikely, I know, but it would be funny.

In a way, it's too bad Buffalo wasn't in the market for a corner. It would have been a lot of fun to see "the Lawyer and the Law" reunited. But I guess Buffalo's young corners are just too good to justify going after Law.

by Bassett (not verified) :: Mon, 08/08/2005 - 12:02pm

More than likely, Mickens will be the odd man out in this one... publicly, Mickens has been in favor of the deal, but I can't imagine that they would keep him, with the addition of the younger Pete Hunter (who they traded for from the Cowboys for a conditional pick) and Justin "Disorderly Conduct" Miller...

by Bassett (not verified) :: Mon, 08/08/2005 - 12:05pm

One more thing, although I am still pining the loss of Ferguson on the line, I think that this move goes a long way to making the hole on the line look less gaping... maybe instead of a chasm, it is now just a maw... :D

by Led (not verified) :: Mon, 08/08/2005 - 12:08pm

All reports say that the deal is incentive-laden and backloaded, and the Post is reporting a SB of $5 million, so it's possible the $7 million in guarantees includes a part of the salary. I'd be very interested to hear the terms when they're finally announced/leaked.

By the way, the Jets already cut Mickens. See the link. Best of luck to Ray. I'm sure he'll catch on somewhere, maybe Dallas.

by Josh (not verified) :: Mon, 08/08/2005 - 2:26pm

Very happy to see my Jets get Law, as we know pass D was their biggest weakness last year and stoof to be it again this year.

Feel a little bad for Mickens - not only because he was cut, but also because he probably stood to make a little money or other services from Law, who would've wanted Mickens' #24.

by Jerry Garcia (not verified) :: Mon, 08/08/2005 - 4:30pm

Now the Jets are paying big bucks to 2 guys that have bad feet - (Coles & Law).

Somebody call a "toe" truck right away !!!

by Sean (not verified) :: Mon, 08/08/2005 - 5:26pm

A great move, one that will have a ripple effect on the rest of the secondary. The Jets secondary was by far the weak link of the entire team last season, a fact largely obscured by their offense's ability to hold the ball and keep the defense off the field. Pro Football Prospectus has the Jets secondary numbers and they aren't good: Their DVOA against #1 WRs was 33.0%, 28th in the league. Their DVOA against #2 WRs was 20.9%, also 28th in the league. They were much better against tight ends and running backs, with a -19.0% DVOA against TEs (8th) and a -11.2% against RBs (15th), and that is largely due to the quality play of Eric Coleman and especially the revamped linebacker unit. You would look at those numbers and think that Ty Law is a drop in the ocean, as prone to being rendered irrelevant as Charles Woodson in Oakland, but it's actually not true. The Jets have some players with ability, but the pieces weren't going to fit together well because their was no true #1 corner. But with Law in place on one side, the rest of the DBs can be used in a way that maximizes their ability. David Barrett is probably going to start on the other side, but he'll get plenty of safety help. He'll probably also end up platooning with Justin Miller, who has the best speed of any Jets corner and will eventually end up on the outside, but who now won't need to be force fed into the lineup. Derrick Strait showed flashes in limited time last year, and he's going to make a quality nickel back, as he can play strong press coverage and handle short patterns well. The Jets picked up a big corner in Pete Hunter to match up against bigger receivers. Those aren't guys who you want to give a ton of snaps to, but they have ability and can be successful when utilized properly. (I guarantee you Bill Belicheck could figure out what to do with them.)

As for it being too rich a deal, I don't see it. Law's signing bonus was 7 million, which is to say half of the kind of bonuses being handed out to the likes of Anthony Henry, Andre Dyson and Ken Lucas. Considering that Law was easily the best corner in the game before the injury, it seems more than reasonable to me.

by Led (not verified) :: Mon, 08/08/2005 - 6:14pm

Still, not a lot of depth. I would've liked to have kept Mickens. Not sure if Hunter's height is good for anything other than stopping hail mary jump balls. He doesn't seem to be able to play a lick. But barring injury, I agree that the secondary is now more than passable, particularly given the strength of the front 7.

All in all, I think the Jets have too many "can't get injured" guys to get real far. Injuries to Robertson, Vilma or Law would cripple the defense. Injuries to Pennington, Mawae or one of the tackles would cripple the offense. For the Jets to be a contender, they need a lot of love from the injury gods.

by MarkB (not verified) :: Mon, 08/08/2005 - 6:54pm

If I heard right on the radio, the deal is a loser for Law even if he makes all the incentives. The Pats offered almost as much over two years and this contract offers over three, and the Pats money was all guaranteed.

Nice work Nimrod. Enjoy your time with Herm "Race Card" Edwards.

by lagfish (not verified) :: Mon, 08/08/2005 - 7:33pm

Yeah Pats fans have alot to be bitter about. Law gambled and lost, it happens. More power to him.

by Matt L (not verified) :: Mon, 08/08/2005 - 7:40pm

Not sure if the Jets had this in mind when they traded out of the first round for Jolley and the Raiders' second round pick, but I'm sure this would have been a lot more difficult if they had a first round pick eating a chunk out of their salary cap this year. This creates a new dimension for their off-season moves when taken as a whole.

by Led (not verified) :: Mon, 08/08/2005 - 8:18pm

"Race Card"?

Care to elaborate.

by MarkB (not verified) :: Mon, 08/08/2005 - 9:29pm

“Race Card"?

Care to elaborate.

Dungy is first team, Edwards backs him up. Both have talked about the NCAA being a racist organization, and both have whined when a black coach was fired.

by Sean (not verified) :: Mon, 08/08/2005 - 11:01pm

And both are right, judging by the numbers.

by Wally Londo (not verified) :: Tue, 08/09/2005 - 9:40am

Jets suck.

by billvv (not verified) :: Tue, 08/09/2005 - 9:58am

Way to weigh in, Wally! Nice to know you can be so concise.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Tue, 08/09/2005 - 10:03am

Jets are a pretty good team. If all the new pieces click into place, they'll be a very good team.

It'll be tough for all these guys to finish the season, but in this particular case,12-15 games of Ty Law should still be better than what the Jets had at corner last year.

by Jets fan in Bama (not verified) :: Tue, 08/09/2005 - 3:18pm

With the signing of Law, the Jets dramatically upgraded their weakest link last year. Trust me, even 50% of Law was an upgrade.

If Pennington can stay healthy all year (and that's a big if with the changes on the o-line), then this will be the year that New England's supremecy will be challenged.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Tue, 08/09/2005 - 3:42pm

I agree, Law is an upgrade, and it'll be interesting to see how they do with him in there, especially if he can remain healthy (which is a big question mark).

Regarding the race card, I think there's a difference in mentioning race with respect to hires (token interviews, not taking qualified candidates seriously) and NUMBERS of coaches, which could be classified as a problem, vs. playing the card when someone is fired, which some people are well-known to do. Rarely does a coach of any color get fired if their teams are doing well (although there are isolated moments when one can mention it with a firing - Willingham was one where one could at least bring it up). If a coach has a few years of 4-12 (or 3-8 at the college level), but happens to be black, complaining about race when they're fired just makes everyone ignore those times when there IS a potential question mark, because those kinds of records get ANYONE (except Matt Millen) fired.

On an unrelated note, I see that TMQ has started again for the season, effective today.


by Glenn (not verified) :: Tue, 08/09/2005 - 6:08pm

From today's Boston Globe:
"(Red Sox 1B John)Olerud's doctor, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid publicity, said in June that the injury would be debilitating for an NFL player, particularly one who plays cornerback. The injury is particularly harmful if not diagnosed correctly and expeditiously, the doctor said. That could be bad news for Law, who told cnnsi.com that Patriots medical personnel misdiagnosed him, and he didn't realize he had the Lisfranc injury until visiting a foot specialist. Olerud's doctor said the injury would have ended Olerud's career had it not been diagnosed properly or if Olerud relied on his speed for success."

This deal could blow up big in the Jets faces.

by Led (not verified) :: Tue, 08/09/2005 - 7:05pm

Is Olerud's doctor Bill Frist?

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Tue, 08/09/2005 - 11:41pm

If the guy was "speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid publicity," why would they identify him as Olerud's doctor? How hard would it be to find out who he is? It's like when an anonymous "GM for an AFC North club" was quoted, at a time where only one AFC North team had a GM.

by CaffeineMan (not verified) :: Thu, 08/11/2005 - 3:27am

Yeah, he should have just said he was Epstein's mother's doctor...

by Led (not verified) :: Thu, 08/11/2005 - 2:38pm

If anyone's interested, I've linked a Daily News article with more details on the contract. According to this article it's basically a one year deal with no signing bonus. Not bad.

Law receives a $2.5 million base salary this year, $1 million of which is guaranteed. The total salary with incentives if Law plays all 16 games would be $4 million. He would get an additional $4 million if the Jets win the Super Bowl and Law plays 95% of the defensive snaps for the year. The team has an option to extend the deal to 2011 after the 2005 season, but they'll never do it because it requires a payment of $11 million.

All in all a pretty good deal for the Jets, assuming the article is accurate.

by masocc (not verified) :: Thu, 08/11/2005 - 4:49pm

Re: #24

Not too bad a deal, and Peter King is reporting essentially the same thing. Major difference being that the $4 million bonus is due if the Jets MAKE THE PLAYOFFS with Law playing 95% of the defensive snaps.

(Article linked below)

by masocc (not verified) :: Thu, 08/11/2005 - 4:51pm

Though Peter King isn't exactly known for getting his facts entirely straight... so its a toss up as to which it is. Either one is fairly unlikely, though obviously the playoffs scenario is more possible to attain.