Originally created 01/24/04

Cornerback focuses on Super Bowl, not contract



FOXBORO, Mass. --Ty Law knows he'll play cornerback for New England in the Super Bowl. He also knows that might be his last game with the Patriots.

They could unload him for salary cap reasons, just as they did his former secondary partner, Lawyer Milloy.

"All I can do is go out there and play and, hopefully, I've proved myself enough to where they want to keep me around," Law said Friday, "but there's an understanding within myself that this is a business and a business first."

But "that's not in the forefront of my mind" with the Super Bowl coming up, said Law, who is signed through 2005.

Milloy played in the last four Pro Bowls, but was released five days before the season after efforts to restructure his contract failed. He signed with Buffalo.

Law, who is headed to his third straight Pro Bowl, has a $5.5 million salary for 2004 plus a $1 million reporting bonus. He's scheduled to count $9.5 million toward the salary cap next season under the seven-year, $50 million deal he signed in 1999.

He didn't say Friday whether he would be willing to restructure that. The club has not commented on Law's future.

After last Sunday's 24-14 win over Indianapolis in the AFC championship game, he said, "Hopefully, I will be here for the long haul. I would like to retire here."

Law had three interceptions in the win over the Colts that sent the Patriots into the Super Bowl on Feb. 1 in Houston. They'll play the Carolina Panthers.

Law was cheerful and smiled Friday as he discussed the game and his future beyond that.

"I had a great run here. Hopefully, I can put another championship under my belt and that's all that matters right now," he said. "I want to stay a Patriot, of course. This is the only team that I know.

"But I also know that I can play football regardless of what (the) uniform is. You can take Ty Law out of the uniform but you can't take me out of the game. I'm going to play and play well regardless of where I'm at."

Law has spent his nine pro seasons with the Patriots and ranks second in team history with 35 interceptions, one behind Raymond Clayborn. He had six interceptions in the 2003 regular season.

Other Patriots stars left when they were still productive. Besides Milloy, Drew Bledsoe was traded to Buffalo after the 2000 season.

Asked about their experience with a mediocre team where the grass wasn't greener than with the Patriots, Law said: "It depends on what you make of it. You can plant your seed anywhere. If I have to do that, that's what I'll do.

"I have a nice home, a nice family, and I planted plenty right here. This is where I was born and raised as an NFL player."

He said spending his entire career with one team would be an accomplishment with so much player movement through free agency.

"It's a business," Law said, "but I would love to be a Patriot."