Law says Patriots lied to him

Updated: March 14, 2004, 3:08 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The "bridge is burned." All-Pro cornerback Ty Law does not want to play another game for the Patriots.

Citing "irreconcilable differences," Law said he has told Patriots coach Bill Belichick and vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli his desire to play somewhere else after being "lied to" about their intentions, according to the Boston Globe.

"Right now, it's not about money," Law told the Globe this week. "That bridge is burned. I no longer want to be a Patriot. I can't even see myself putting on that uniform again, that's how bad I feel about playing here."

Law is under contract with the Pats for two more seasons, and wants an extension that would make him the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL. He is due to earn $6.15 million in salary and a $1 million reporting bonus this year, and $8.75 million in salary plus another $1 million reporting bonus next season.

He has asked the Pats to allow him to buy out his contract. They have declined, according to the Globe.

"Ty is under contract and I think he will honor that contract and do whatever he can to play in this league for a long time," Pats' defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel told ESPN Radio on Sunday. "Ty plays his best on Sundays and if he has to continue to play in New England, he will go out on Sundays and play as hard as he ever has."

Last month Law called the Patriots' four-year, $26 million offer "an insult" and "a slap in the face." Law told the Globe this week that he thought negotiations would continue, but the team told him they would carry Law's $10 million salary cap figure into next season.

"They told me they didn't want to insult Ty anymore, so they're not going to submit any more offers," Carl Poston, Law's agent, told the Globe.

When Poston made the Pats a seven-year, $63 million counteroffer that included $20 million to sign and $28 million over the first three years, Pioli reportedly responded with something to effect of "We can't do that. Save the paper."

"They told me one thing and did another," Law told the Globe. "They said we were going to talk. All of a sudden, negotiations are off. 'We're just going to keep it the way it is for this year.' No. It ain't going to be 'for this year.' I don't want no 'just for this year.' I don't want no years at all. Actually, I don't want a contract extension anymore because I no longer want to be a New England Patriot. I'm drop-dead serious about not wanting to be a part of this organization anymore."

This is not the first time Law has asked to be let go. Law told the Globe he asked Belichick to place him on the 2002 expansion list, which was due days after the Pats' Super Bowl XXXVI victory.

Trading Law or releasing him before June 1 would come with a cap hit of $5.4 million, or the remaining prorated portion of his signing bonus. If the Patriots cut him after June 1, the cap hit this year would be $2.7 million, and the $2.7 million acceleration would be applied to the 2005 cap.

"I can't do a thing about it but express my displeasure about playing for this organization," Law told the Globe. "I'll go to training camp. I've got bonuses for going to training camp. I'm just saying it won't be a comfortable working atmosphere. It's not a reason to hold out. I get $1 million just to show up. Who wouldn't show up for $1 million? The money ain't the thing, because I have that. Then again, I'm not going to sit here and say I don't want $7 million, either. That's stupid. Hell, we all gotta eat.

"I'll go out there and play my game. I'm not saying I'm going to be the best guy to be around or your favorite guy to talk to. But I'm not going to hurt my teammates and I'm not going to hurt myself. I'm going to go out there and play football, because if you want to pay $7 million to a guy that really doesn't want to be here, OK, this is business. Fine. You don't have to like your boss to work and do your job well."

The Patriots' offer essentially would guarantee Law $15.6 million over the next two years ($6.6 million bonus, salaries of $4 million this year and $5 million next year), according to the Globe. His current contract calls for him to earn $16.9 million over the next two seasons.

"I would be a fool to take less than what I already make," Law told the newspaper. "So you're telling me, if I make $17 million over the next two years, if I'm a Patriot, I'm going to accept $15.6 million? That's a pay cut. I said it a thousand times, I'm not taking no pay cut. No. ... If this is a business and you can't afford to pay me what I deserve to be paid, that's fine. I have no problem with that. But let me go out there and earn the salary that I deserve and let me get the commitment from another team because I deserve more than just a one-year deal."