HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) – Ty Law agreed to a multiyear contract with the Jets on Monday, giving New York a Pro Bowl cornerback who helped the New England Patriots win three Super Bowls.

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 at a news conference Monday.

The 31-year-old Law took a physical and worked out for the team Monday. He is intent on showing the Jets he is completely healed from a serious foot injury.

“I think I have something to prove all the time anyway, that’s just my mind-set. It’s how I approach the game,” Law 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. 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.”

Law gives the Jets a shut-down defensive back who will start at left cornerback, which was vacated when Donnie Abraham retired shortly before training camp.

“He’s an excellent player and helps us get better,” said coach Herm Edwards, who met with Law on Sunday night.

Law 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 have 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.

“The thing he brings to the table is he has great instincts,” Edwards said. “He understands angles very, very well and he’s a physical guy, too. He has great hand-eye coordination and he’s a student – he studies the game, studies receivers.”

To make room for Law, the Jets released Ray Mickens, who had been listed as a starting cornerback during the first week of camp. Law will wear Mickens’ No. 24 jersey, the number Law wore during his Patriots years.

The team also let go of safety Derek Pagel, guard Dave Yovanovits, running back Delvin Joyce and cornerback Roosevelt Williams.

Law missed the Patriots’ third championship with a broken foot. The 10-year veteran needed surgery in January to repair ligament damage after a season-ending fracture during an October loss in Pittsburgh that ended New England’s record 21-game winning streak.

Law has four Pro Bowl appearances and 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. He’s won three with the Patriots. Hopefully, he can bring that experience, intensity and work ethic and help all of the young guys that we have in our backfield.”

Law rejoins former Patriots teammate and close friend Curtis Martin and former secondary partner Corwin Brown, now the Jets’ defensive backs coach.

“This was definitely my first choice from the beginning,” Law said.

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.

With Mickens gone, rookie Justin Miller will be the third cornerback. Second-year player Derrick Strait will step into Mickens’ spot as the main nickel back.

Pagel, a fifth-round pick in 2003, played in 19 games in two seasons with the Jets, mostly on special teams. Yovanovits, a seventh-round pick in 2003, appeared in four games in two seasons.

Joyce was signed by the Jets in April after playing two seasons with the Giants. Williams joined New York last Tuesday after being released by Washington.

AP-ES-08-08-05 1550EDT

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