HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Ty Law stood on the sidelines with his Jets helmet in his right hand, and watched intently as his new teammates practiced.
Once a member of one of New York's biggest rivals, Law appeared right at home in his new green and white Jets uniform.
New England Patriots
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
Tot Ast Solo FF Sack Int
28 23 5 0 0 1
"It was basically a dream come true," Law said Monday.
The four-time Pro Bowl cornerback agreed to a multiyear contract with the Jets after helping the New England Patriots win three Super Bowls in 10 seasons.
"There is nothing else to prove as far as I'm concerned with New England," the 31-year-old Law said. "I had 10 great years and three championships there, so the proof is in the books. Now it's time to go into the new chapter in my life and prove to the Jets that I'm worth everything they are willing to put out for me."
The deal could be worth as much as $28.5 million for the first three years and as much as $50 million over seven years, agent Carl Poston said. The contract is laden with incentives -- among them leading the Jets to the Super Bowl -- and has options for both sides.
"I think this team is on the verge of doing something very special, and that's why I wanted to join them," Law said.
And the Jets couldn't have been happier to welcome a player of Law's caliber. Running back Curtis Martin, who played with Law in New England during his first three seasons, actively recruited the cornerback to come to New York.
"There are certain guys that you just know are winners -- they've got it in their eyes, they've got it in their hearts and they play with it on the field. Ty is one of those guys," Martin said. "I think anytime you add him to a team, you add an element that not too many people at his position can bring."
Law took a physical, worked out for the team and participated in warmup drills in the afternoon. He also caused the Jets and their fans a brief scare when he slipped and fell on the damp grass during backpedaling drills.
He was fine, though, and spent most of the practice next to defensive backs coach Corwin Brown, his former teammate in New England, and soaked in his new squad's defensive schemes.
"He's a quick learner and he's confident," coach Herman Edwards said.
Law gives the Jets a premier shut-down defensive back who will start at left cornerback, which was vacated when Donnie Abraham retired shortly before training camp.
"He's obviously one person who has done something that no one on this team has done: He's won three Super Bowls," Martin said.
Law missed the Patriots' third championship with a broken foot. He needed surgery in January to repair ligament damage after the season-ending injury during a loss at Pittsburgh in October.
"He's been a good friend and a good teammate for a long time. I wish him the best of luck," Patriots receiver Troy Brown said.
He was in the final season of a seven-year, $51 million contact with the Patriots, and was due $12.5 million this season, but the team would've taken a big hit on its salary cap. Law reportedly wasn't willing to restructure his contract, so New England released him in February. He was sought by a number of teams, including Detroit, Kansas City and Pittsburgh.
Most INT since 1995*
40 Ashley Ambrose
40 Terrell Buckley
39 Rod Woodson
38 Donnie Abraham
36 Ty Law
36 Darren Sharper
*Law's first season
"It's good for Ty. I think he went through a little bit of a tough time, trying to find his place, trying to find his [new] home," defensive end Richard Seymour said.
"I can hold my head up high and say I've had a pretty good career thus far, and I'm going to continue that," Law said. "I have a lot left to give. I'm going to prove to all the doubters, if there are any out there, that I'm still the best cornerback in football."
He solidifies what once was an area of concern for the Jets, who were unsure who their starter at left cornerback would be. Ray Mickens, Justin Miller and Pete Hunter were all competing for the job.
To make room for Law, the Jets released Mickens, who was listed as the starter during the first week of camp. Law will wear Mickens' old No. 24 jersey, the number he had with the Patriots.
"Everybody knows what kind of player he is -- Pro Bowl player, All-Pro player, a great competitor on and off the field," receiver Deion Branch said. "He's a great teacher. I learned a lot from him, and I'm pretty sure some of the other guys [on the Jets] are going to learn some things from him, too."
The team also let go of safety Derek Pagel, guard Dave Yovanovits, running back Delvin Joyce and cornerback Roosevelt Williams.
Mickens, who played nine seasons for the Jets and was a fan favorite, missed last year with a torn knee ligament but looked good in camp. He started 14 games in 2003 when Abraham was injured and had been a key part of the Jets' nickel package.
"He's a good player and he'll play in this league with another team," Edwards said.
Law holds Patriots records with 36 interceptions and six regular-season touchdowns on interceptions. He also scored on an interception when New England beat St. Louis in 2002 for its first NFL title.
"He's a guy that can make the big plays and help us win the championship -- that's what we want to do," center Kevin Mawae said. "He knows how to do it."
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press