The Pro Football Hall of Fame released their list of finalists for the class of 2019 last week. Among the 15 modern-era finalists, the headliners are expected first-ballot Hall of Famers, tight end Tony Gonzalez and safety Ed Reed. However, the strength of this class extends well beyond those two, and one of the players who is not getting as much love as he should is former All-Pro cornerback and three-time Super Bowl champion, Ty Law. This is his third year in a row as a finalist, and with his resume, he should get in this year without a doubt.
Ty Law Belongs in the Hall of Fame
The New England Patriots took Ty Law with the 23rd overall pick in the 1995 NFL Draft. Law played 15 seasons in the league, 10 with the Patriots, two with the New York Jets, two with the Kansas City Chiefs, and one with the Denver Broncos.
He was one of the best cornerbacks in the league during that time, racking up 53 interceptions and 169 pass defenses over his career. His 53 career interceptions are tied with Hall of Famer Deion Sanders for 24th all time. Law accumulated 828 return yards from his interceptions and returned seven interceptions for touchdowns.
Law was the definition of a lockdown corner, but his production came in many ways outside of the coverage game. He had 839 combined tackles in his career, five sacks, seven forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries. He was a jack of all trades on defense and was a key reason why Bill Belichick‘s early 2000s Patriots’ defenses were so versatile and effective.
Among his many career accolades, Law was elected to the Pro Bowl five times, winning the game’s most valuable player in 1999. He also was a two-time First-team All-Pro in 1998 and 2003 as a member of the Patriots. He led the league in interceptions twice (1998 and 2005) and he was selected to be part of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team in 2010.
A Patriots Legend
Law will undoubtedly be remembered best for his time with the Patriots, where he spent the first 10 seasons of his career. He was a cornerstone of the late 1990s and early 2000s Patriots teams that took the league by storm.
During Law’s tenure in New England, the Patriots reached four Super Bowls and won three. Law was the starting cornerback in the first three Super Bowl appearances, but he was inactive with a foot injury in the Patriots’ win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.
Law was known for playing great when it mattered the most: the playoffs. Arguably the biggest moment of his career came in Super Bowl XXXVI when he intercepted Kurt Warner‘s pass and brought it back for a 47-yard touchdown return. Furthermore, the greatest game of Law’s career was the 2004 AFC Championship against the Indianapolis Colts, when Law intercepted Peyton Manning three times en route to a 24-14 Patriots victory. Overall in 13 playoff games, Law had six interceptions, 16 pass defenses, and 55 combined tackles.
Law is a legend in New England football history. He is considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest, defensive backs in Patriots history, and as a result, he was elected to the New England Patriots Hall of Fame in 2014. Now, it is high time he receives the recognition that he deserves and gets to join football royalty in Canton, Ohio this summer.