Each Friday, Ultimate Autographs will feature one athlete that is part of the Ultimate Autographs lineup. This week's Friday Featured Athlete is 3x Super Bowl Champ and newly minted NFL Hall of Famer Ty Law.
Ty Law entered the NFL after being drafted with the 23rd overall pick by the New England Patriots in the 1995 NFL Draft. After initially beginning the year as the team's third cornerback, Law would eventually emerge as the starter towards the end of his rookie season. Law had 47 total tackles, nine pass deflections, three interceptions and a sack while appearing in 14 games for the Patriots as a rookie.
Law continued to enjoy success in his 2nd NFL season, compiling 62 total tackles with another nine pass deflections and three interceptions as the Patriots entered the NFL Playoffs with an 11-5 record. Law started each game during the Patriots' playoff run, including Super Bowl XXXI against the Green Bay Packers.
The star cornerback would earn his first Pro Bowl in 1998, becoming the first New England Patriots player to lead the league in interceptions. Law's first Pro Bowl season saw him record 70 total tackles, 32 pass deflections and nine interceptions.
After Bill Belichick took over as the Patriots' head coach, the early 2000s Patriots dynasty began in full. In 2001, Law earned his second Pro Bowl, helping the Patriots finish the season as Super Bowl champs after defeating the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI. Law intercepted a pass from Kurt Warner and returned it for a touchdown, providing not only an iconic image in Super Bowl history but scoring the first points for the Patriots in the game. The win would be the first Super Bowl in Patriots' history.
Law would earn two additional Pro Bowls, including leading the league in pass deflections in 2003. In that year, Law helped lead the Patriots' defense to be the best in points allowed, opposing quarterback passer rating, interceptions and passing touchdowns allowed. He also helped change the game of football forever with his physical defense against the wide receivers being credited with helping the league adjust the rules for flagging defensive cornerbacks. Law helped seal another Patriots Super Bowl berth by interception three passes from Peyton Manning in that year's AFC Championship game. The Patriots would go on to defeat the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII, their second in three years.
Following another Super Bowl win against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX, Law would be released from the Patriots due to his high salary. Law would sign a contract with the division rival New York Jets and produced one of his best NFL seasons with 10 interceptions and another Pro Bowl. Law was let go from the Jets as the team was struggling mightily with salary cap issues.
Law would spend the next few years bouncing from a few different teams but following his NFL retirement, Law stated he is a Patriot for life.
In 2014, Law was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame and in 2019, Law was announced as a recent addition to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He's also a member of the NFL's All-Decade Team from 2000 to 2010. Law lead the NFL in interceptions twice throughout his stellar career. Throughout his time in the NFL, Law amassed 838 total tackles, 53 interceptions, 5 Pro Bowls and captured 3 Super Bowl rings. Law's 53 career interceptions rank 24th all-time in NFL history.
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(Cover photo via Ty Law's Facebook)