New England Patriots: 30 greatest players in franchise history

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
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19 of 30
Ty Law, New England Patriots
17 Oct 1999: Ty Law #24 of the New England Patriots carries the ball during the game against the Miami Dolphins at the Foxboro Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Dolphins defeated the Patriots 31-30. /

CB. (1995-04). Ty Law. 12. player. 47.

  • 3x Super Bowl Champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX)
  • NFL 2000s All-Decade Team
  • 4x Pro Bowl w/Patriots (1998, 2001-03)
  • 2x First-Team All-Pro (1998, 2003)
  • NFL interceptions leader w/Patriots (1998)
  • New England Patriots Hall of Fame

If there is any longtime Patriots defensive back of the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick era that could gain Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement, cornerback Ty Law would have to be the safest bet at this point. Law spent his first 10 NFL seasons with New England after being a first-round pick out of Michigan in 1995.

As a rookie in 1995, Law played in 14 games, starting in seven of them for head coach Bill Parcells. Law’s playing time would increase as a second-year pro in 1996, as the Patriots made it all the way to the Super Bowl. While Parcells would leave the organization after that game, Law would continue to grow under new defensive-minded head coach Pete Carroll.

Law had his first truly great season in 1998, as he led the NFL in interceptions with nine for 133 yards and one touchdown. He not only played and started in all 16 regular season games that year, but Law made his first career trip to the Pro Bowl. Law also earned his first First-Team All-Pro nod as well.

New England would quickly wane to close out the decade, but the Patriots and Law wold bounce back triumphantly in 2001. Law made his second career trip to the Pro Bowl, while the Patriots went on to win Super Bowl XXXVI over the St. Louis Rams. That would be the first of three Super Bowl Championship squads Law would play a part of.

Law ended up playing the best ball of his NFL career during those early Belichick days in Foxborough. He made three-straight Pro Bowls from 2001 to 2003, earning his second career First-Team All-Pro honor in that 2003 campaign. After missing the AFC playoffs in 2002, New England won Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX over the Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles in succession.

Though Law still had a few great years left, Belichick would part ways with his star cornerback after the 2004 NFL season. Law went on to have another outstanding year with the 2005 New York Jets, where he made his fifth and final Pro Bowl roster, as he led the league in interceptions with 10.

After that impressive 2005 season, Law fell back to earth like Belichick had anticipated. Law wasn’t the first great Patriot Belichick moved off early, and he won’t be the last. He played four more years with three different teams before retiring after the 2009 NFL season with the Denver Broncos.

Law ended up with 539 tackles, 96 assists, 45 pass breakups, 36 interceptions for 583 yards and six touchdowns in 10 seasons with New England. The Patriots inducted him into their Hall of Fame in 2014. Law made the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team thanks to his great years with New England. Yet to this day, Law remains on the outside looking in at Canton. Will he get there? We shall see.