FOXBORO - Ty Law fulfilled and exceeded the expectations for him on the football field, so it should come as no surprise that Patriots' fans rewarded the cornerback from Michigan with induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
The Patriots announced Monday that at the close of online balloting that lasted a month from the date of nomination, Law outpolled cornerback Raymond Clayborn and former head coach Bill Parcells to become the fourth player voted into the 22-member Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
"Ty Law was one of the greatest players in franchise history and one of the premier corners in the NFL during his Patriots career," team Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a prepared statement Monday. "The fans have helped validate that with this year's Hall of Fame selection.
"We have had an incredible run of success, and the building blocks started with players like Ty," Kraft said. "He was an important part of three Super Bowl championship teams. It will be an honor to bring Ty back to celebrate his career as he takes his rightful place in our team's hall of fame. I am sure he will deliver another memorable moment during his hall of fame ceremony, too."
Kraft's reference alluded to one of the Patriots' championship rallies in Boston, when Law's good-natured goading prompted the owner to dance on-stage to the delight of the thousands of fans assembled.
Law's induction ceremony will take place on the NRG Plaza outside The Hall at Patriot Place on Friday, Aug. 1, at 4:30 p.m., prior to the team's annual in-stadium practice for season-ticket holders. The outdoor ceremony will be free and open to the general public. In addition, Law will be honored on Oct. 16, at a halftime ceremony during the Patriots' Thursday Night Football game against the rival New York Jets - for whom Law also played near the end of his career.
Law joins Tedy Bruschi (2013), Troy Brown (2012) and Drew Bledsoe (2011) as the only players to be selected in their first year of eligibility.
The native of Aliquippa, Pa., spent 10 years with the Patriots after joining the team as the 23rd overall pick in the 1995 NFL Draft. He was a three-time Super Bowl champion, a four-time Pro Bowl player (1998, 2001-03) and a two-time All-Pro selection (1998, 2003) during his tenure with the Patriots.
Law tied Clayborn's career franchise-record with 36 interceptions and finished with the most interception-return yards in team history with 583. His six interceptions returned for touchdowns are also a franchise best. Law had nine interceptions in 1998 to become the first Patriot to lead the NFL in that category.
Law is a member of the NFL's all-decade team for the 2000s as well as the Patriots' all-1990s and all-2000s decade teams. He was also selected to the Patriots' 50th Anniversary Team.
Fans have had the final say for Patriots Hall of Fame membership since 2007, when wide receiver Stanley Morgan became the first inductee enshrined as the result of online voting. A 20-member nominating committee comprised of media and team officials met in April to select three nominees, and fans voted for the nominee they believed to be most deserving of enshrinement.
Since Morgan, the fans have voted in tight end Ben Coates, fullback Jim Nance, running back Sam Cunningham, Bledsoe, Brown and Bruschi. Center Jon Morris was added in 2011 by a vote of a senior selection committee, while former owner Billy Sullivan and broadcaster Gil Santos were added by Kraft as "contributors"
Patriots honored prior to the voting system are Bruce Armstrong, Nick Buoniconti, Gino Cappelletti, Bob Dee, Steve Grogan, John Hannah, Mike Haynes, Jim Lee Hunt, Steve Nelson, Vito "Babe" Parilli and Andre Tippett.
Three more draft picks and three undrafted free agents signed on the dotted line Monday. The Patriots announced the signings of offensive linemen Bryan Stork and Jon Halapio, fourth- and sixth-round picks respectively, and sixth-round pick Jemea Thomas, a cornerback. They also signed cornerback Malcolm Butler of West Alabama, wide receiver Derrick Johnson of Maine and linebacker Taylor McCuller of West Texas A
The team also announced that it will have three days of joint workouts with the Washington Redskins Aug. 4-6 at the latter's training facility in Richmond, Va., prior to the Aug. 7 preseason opener at FedEx Field. Workouts at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center will be open to the public.