First came the addition of Edgerrin James, then the drafting of Matt Leinart. Could the signing of veteran Pro Bowl cornerback Ty Law punctuate the Cardinals’ stunning offseason?
The Cards have talked to Law’s agents, but then, so have many teams. And that’s as far as either side is willing to go at this point.
“There have been some discussions but nothing is imminent,” Cardinals vice president of football operations Rod Graves said.
“A lot of teams are interested in Ty,” one of Law’s agents, Kevin Poston, said Tuesday. “But are they willing to do a deal with Ty?
“Beyond that, it’d be wrong for me to elaborate.”
Law, 32, had a career-high 10 interceptions for the Jets last year in his 11th NFL season. He is without question the lone standout free agent left on the open market. He would seem to be a fit at cornerback for the Cards, who have No. 1 corner Antrel Rolle coming off a knee injury and questions about the consistency of the next two corners on the depth chart, David Macklin and Eric Green.
But Law’s asking price — he is reportedly seeking a $10 million signing bonus, in addition to lofty salaries on a multi-year deal — is the reason he remains without a job.
If an NFL player doesn’t sign early in free agency, those dollars are usually unattainable. Poston pointed to Law’s career featuring Pro Bowls and Super Bowls (winning two with the Patriots) as a reason he is worth a big contract, but it’s unlikely to happen, and it certainly won’t happen in Arizona.
Teams that are reportedly considering Law include San Diego, Kansas City and New England. The Patriots and Chiefs have long been considered front-runners; Law spent the first 10 years of his career in New England and he played for new Chiefs coach Herman Edwards last season in New York.
While Poston avoided specifics, he did say Law was close to signing somewhere.
“Oh yeah,” Poston said. “We know it’s June. We know what time it is.”
The Cardinals are believed to have at least $10 million in salary cap space available, although $4.1 million of that is dedicated to the rookie pool to sign the team’s seven draft picks.
The team is also expected to absorb a loftier salary cap number than expected from tackle Leonard Davis. Davis’ salary has gone from $7.17 million in 2006 to $9.17 million according to NFL Players Association documents, apparently due to a contract escalator. Davis, who will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, now has a 2006 cap number of $10.1 million, the highest on the team.
But the money for Law could be available, if both sides were willing to compromise.
Poston said Law would have no problem playing in Arizona “but they would have to pony up.”