By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Ty Law is finally getting enshrined in Canton at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, after what felt like an eternity of waiting for fans who watched the early years of the Patriots dynasty and saw his greatness. And he wasn’t the only great Patriot from his era.
As far as Canton is concerned, Law hopes his gold jacket is only the first one for those teams.
And it will be. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have long punched their tickets to Canton, locks for first-ballot induction. Kicker Adam Vinatieri and tight end Rob Gronkowski will get in, but may face resistance on their first ballots. The rest? It’s a tougher battle to get them a bronze bust.
But Law is the first proof voting committees acknowledge that the Patriots dynasty, especially the teams that won three Super Bowls in four seasons from 2001-04, weren’t solely because of Brady and Belichick. The two-time All-Pro cornerback dominated in his own right, and did it on the biggest stages. So he’s in.
Speaking to reporters in a conference call on Tuesday, Law said he hopes that his induction kicks the door in for other worthy candidates from his era of the Patriots.
“I might be the guy to stand up there on that stage, but I know that those guys are standing up there with me. Hopefully that’ll open up the door, finally letting one of us in, and hopefully that opens up the flood gates for a lot of other deserving guys to one day be Hall of Famers, as well,” Law said. “I couldn’t have been who I was without Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi, Lawyer Milloy, Rodney Harrison, and the list goes on. I mean, you think about our team – you know, they tend to talk about the ultimate team, there’s no individuals. In order to get to where we went, people had to be playing some good football. Individuals had to be smart and be able to play and be able to adjust on the fly. We had a lot of those guys on that team. I happen to be the recipient of such an award through the hard work and the blood, sweat and tears of the guys that I played with, and I’m happy to represent those guys because it’s not just me in the Hall of Fame. Those guys are right there with me.”
Law didn’t mention defensive lineman Richard Seymour, who was a finalist for the 2019 Hall of Fame class and should eventually get in. Harrison just enjoyed his own induction into the team Hall of Fame on Monday. McGinest, Bruschi, and Milloy may be closer to long shots than the others.
But there’s no doubt that Law isn’t the only Patriot besides Brady and Belichick who deserves consideration for Canton. He’ll be joined by them, Gronkowski, and Vinatieri eventually. It will be intriguing to see who else gets in, and how long it takes.
The 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony starts Saturday, August 3 at 7 p.m. Law will be inducted along with cornerback Champ Bailey, tight end Tony Gonzalez, center Kevin Mawae, safety Ed Reed, and safety Johnny Robinson. Two former executives, Pat Bowlen and Gil Brandt, will also be enshrined.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.