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Jets' release of Miller as intriguing as signing of Law

By Matt Sohn

Nov. 11, 2008


In signing CB Ty Law on Tuesday, the Jets obtained the services of a five-time Pro Bowler with intricate knowledge of their defensive system. Law was a star pupil of head coach Eric Mangini back when the Jets skipper was a DB coach in New England. This marks Law’s second stint with the Jets. He previously played there in 2005, one season prior to Mangini’s arrival.

Law, a veteran of 13 NFL seasons, won three Super Bowl titles with the Patriots, who drafted him in 1995. He was with the Patriots until his release in 2005, and followed up his one-year stop with Jets with two years of service in Kansas City. He hasn’t played yet in 2008.

“It’s good to add a player of Ty’s caliber who’s familiar with our scheme at this point in the season,” general manager Mike Tannenbaum said in a statement. “I appreciate the efforts of (agent) Carl Poston in helping to get this deal done.”

To make room on the roster, the club released CB Justin Miller.

The PFW spin

The acquisition of Law is a curious one, though not entirely unexpected. Law had been linked to the Jets almost immediately after his release from Kansas City. In fact, he had mentioned heavily in connection with three teams in the AFC East — the Jets, the Patriots and the Dolphins, the last of whom tried to bring him in for a workout less than a month ago.

Although it took this long for him to land with a team, he could’ve easily latched on somewhere sooner if he was willing to accept less money.

In New York, he’ll vie for starting honors for the spot opposite premier CB Darrelle Revis, currently manned by rookie Dwight Lowery. With an extensive track record of success in the system, the Jets know they’re getting a supremely confident and physical player who they hope will bring stability to a secondary that’s been tremendous at times and horrendous at others.

However, there’s a reason teams were hesitant to bust open the money-clip for him. After all his years in the league, he’s not nearly the athlete he once was. His play slipped considerably with the Chiefs, particularly last season when he tried compensating for his diminished speed by playing further off the ball. He’s a savvy technician without a doubt, but the Jets are kidding themselves if they think they’re acquiring the player who was among the elite defensive players in football in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Although the release of a player to make room for a former star is usually nothing more than a footnote on a transaction log, Miller’s not some nobody journeyman. A second-round pick in 2005, he’s a tremendous athlete who appears to be recovered from a brutal knee injury that cost him his 2007 season. Miller was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2006 as a kick returner, and actually was slated through much of training camp to be one of the Jets’ starting cornerbacks before gradually sliding down the chart. There’s speculation that he simply never meshed on a personal level with Mangini.

Because of this, expect numerous clubs to be interested in picking him up off the waiver wire. The Chiefs, coached by Herm Edwards, who drafted Miller out of Clemson, could be one of them. Because of their 1-8 record, they’d likely win out, as only the Lions have a worse record.

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