Buzz: Will Calvin Pace return to the Jets in 2014?

In other player news, it seems that the Jets and Calvin Pace are interested in having the veteran DE/OLB return in 2014 to the Jets.

Pace has been with the Jets since 2008, signing with Eric Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum as one of the more heavily pursued free agents from their much 2008 free agent class. Since joining New York in 2008, Pace has only missed eight games, playing in 88 and totaling 368 tackles and 38 sacks in that time.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

While he’s never been a sack machine, Pace has historically been at his absolute best setting the edge for the Jets. His play seemed to deteriorate in that respect in recent years but he was put in a spot to succeed this season with few exterior pass rushers.

Pace benefited from the defensive line’s dominance and the injury to Antwan Barnes. While he had racked up a few sacks prior to Barnes’ injury Pace was put in the position to rush the passer more afterwards. Pace has never been a speedy pass-rusher, but he is relentless and it translated to a double digit sack year for Pace.

After a 10 sack season on a veteran minimum deal, we can understand why the Jets would be willing to bring back Pace; if he is willing to sign another low-level deal there’s virtually no downside.  Steven Peterman, Antonio Garay, Braylon Edwards … as the Idzik-led Jets showed last summer, they were willing to bring in veterans only to cut them if they didn’t think they justified a roster spot.  As he demonstrated in 2013, Pace seems to have some gas left in the tank but the  Pace can’t be a long-term answer at the spot.

If Pace’s 10 sack season proved anything, it was that the dominance of the defensive line can put solid athletes with a motor in a successful position to rush the passer. With the Sons of Anarchy the Jets don’t need to add a Jadaveon Clowney to effectively get pressure from the outside. A competent Day Two or even Day Three draftee or ham-and-egger in free agency might suffice.

If Pace is willing to sign a deal with little to no guarantees, we think the Jets should bring back Pace and have the luxury of deciding his fate this summer should they find a more active player who can fit the role without much of a dropoff in play at the position.




75 comments
hazard2012
hazard2012

Pace had a surprisingly solid year, and deserves to come back if a reasonable deal can be reached.   He's also a locker room leader and could mentor a mid-round pick at his position.   


Jets should spend the bulk of their cap dollars on experienced, quality D'Backs instead.  With better coverage the front seven will have another second or two in which to get to opposing QB's.  CB's and S's are now the weak links in the Jet D, and these are not positions easily filled for immediate results via draft.    

harvlis
harvlis

With all the cap money that could be available, if Idzik does the right things, I would love to see a bold move, like picking up a top free agent.  If Pace had ten sacks with this D-line, how many would Orakpo have?  Jet fans have taken so much abuse, in the past two season, we need something to get excited about.   

kniff
kniff

Remember all the pass rush studs we were coveting in the 2013 draft? Yeah that's right bros, we didn't get one of em'!! Thank God Coples stood up (as well as Wilk , Richardson, and Pace) so we had a strong showing despite the wish list being brought down to Earth...


I all for holding on to Pace, as he's been hard working and tough as nails... I'm just rooting for some Front Seven tweeking via the draft, once our LG, WR, and TE Offensive needs are sufficiently addressed.

Matt Kardos ⚾
Matt Kardos ⚾

I want to see them bring in Worilds from the Steelers

a57se
a57se

I would resign Pace to an incentive laden contract, this might be the only way the Jets can keep him. A vets' minimum deal isn't going to be enough. The Jets got a bargain last year with him and he will get paid by someone this year.

Brendan
Brendan

At a vet minimum I'll take it. 

jvsvn
jvsvn

Minimum deal for a 10+ player is something like $1 million. Even with the 10 sacks, it seems highly unlikely that someone is going to pay more for Pace at this point in his career. Give him a minimum deal, maybe with a small incentive for playing time and performance. Pace will take it. He doesn't want to go anywhere else. He knows his best chance of sticking on a roster is with Rex. Is he going to take a chance somewhere else for an additional $500K that he may never see. I doubt it. For him to leave, someone would have to give him guaranteed money. I don't see that happening.

juunit
juunit

If he's really gonna take a one year, $1m deal, sure. 


But this is really his last chance to get paid before he retires and he's actually in a good situation where he can realistically expect at least a 2nd year and a couple million. I'd be surprised if he sticks around.

Bytor
Bytor

Sign him up, give him a bit of a raise. We can rely on him setting the edge and getting his clean up sacks. We hope Barnes comes back 100% to pin his ears back and draft a guy like Attaochu to compete.


By the way, I drove home from Boston last night and listened to Pats talk radio. They were playing the "should we keep or dump" game regarding Talib, Edelman and Blount. The biggest concern about Talib was his injuries. They even suggested he wasn't even that hurt by the Welker hit. After further review, no thanks. Cro, Verner, Grimes or Shields please. 


They also talk about the very real end of the Brady era within 1-4 years coupled with falling production. Also complained about the....wait for it...."pieces".

SackDance99
SackDance99

Man, I'd love the Jets trading up and snagging Clowney.  Sure, it's not anything the Jets NEED to do, but it would radically change the balance of power in the AFC.  Adding Clowney to the Jets already burgeoning defense front 7 would get the NFL's attention in a big way.  The Jets would still have enough picks and cap room to address the offense, but there's no potential to add a guy like Clowney via free agency.  Rex Ryan and Dunbar coaching up Clowney?!?  It doesn't seem to be in Idzik's nature to do something that audacious, but I would love it!

dabronx
dabronx

@hazard2012 


Couldn't agree more. If Buffalo doesn't re-tag Byrd they need to make him a top priority. If not Byrd, then TJ Ward. Also, I wouldn't bring Cro back. Sign Verner or Munnerlyn to a long term deal - they are both 25. I'm sure I'm going to get crap for this, but if Lee, Evans, or Ebron aren't available @ 18, I would either trade down or draft Kyle Van Noy - he is currently projected as a second rounder. However, I believe after the combine he will be flying up mock boards. One of the best cover OLB in college football, phenomenal blitzer, and pure playmaker  - think Lavonte David  type. The WR draft class is pretty deep in 2014. We can still snag quality receivers in later rounds. The Jets passing D was ranked 22nd in the league - that needs to fixed. 

Pat d
Pat d

You beat the pass up front not with coverage

madbacker
madbacker

@jake100 we still hold 1 advantage, Schwartz is a Fisher guy and Fisher is a Buddy Ryan guy and one of the few in the NFL that still favors the 46 D schemes. If any one knows the strengths and weakness of that scheme, it's Rex. Granted his roster is talented but we have proven that when it comes to facing D's that Rex knows, our O is well prepped. Example Nolan, Del Rio, Mike Smith. Also if we re-sign Howard and improve at Guard we would be more than a match for the Bills!


Pat d
Pat d

If you wait until after LG, WR and TE u really aren't going to get much tweak for the defensive front seven.

harold
harold

Matt we dont need another Pace we need a real long term edge rusher. Wolids has never been a very good rusher. First season with more than 5 sacks was this season. He only had 8 sacks. Do you want to pay him 5-7 million per season for 8 sacks?

dabronx
dabronx

@Brendan 

Agreed. As Brian stated in the article, I believe Pace benefited greatly from the superior interior play of the Jets D-line. However, it begs to ask the question what someone like Orakpo would do in the same environment. 

LIJetsFan
LIJetsFan

@jvsvn Can anyone recall what we paid Jason Taylor for his one year rental? Or was that too far is the past to be relevant now.

Brendan
Brendan

@jvsvn His salary will be discounted because of his tenure, he won't count the full contract value against the cap. 

Marty Luc
Marty Luc

@SackDance99 please no more trading of draft picks!! there is a reason why mike westoff was quoted as saying the jets special team players were the "worst he's had in 30 years of coaching". 


because those mid and late round picks tanny kept trading destroyed the team's depth. use free agency to grab a few starters and use all 12 draft picks to grab a couple more and also build up the depth of the team. 

Stanley Bostitch
Stanley Bostitch

@SackDance99 If he were to fall a bit, maybe they go up and get him. Historic wouldn't begin to describe our line...

juunit
juunit

@SackDance99 

He has a bad personality. I don't want him and I don't think Idzik has interest in "low character" guys anyway. 

There are other pass rushers in the draft though. And I'd be on board with one of them.

MarshRandy
MarshRandy

@SackDance99 getting another DE wouldn't solve our problem of getting shredded by slants and short stuff. How many more wins would we gain with Clowney vs how many wins would we gain from a big time receiver or QB? Offense is a much bigger need

dabronx
dabronx

@jake100 @harvlis 


We do not have to pay Mo. He is locked into his rookie contract for 2014 and then we can tag him in 2015. 

SackDance99
SackDance99

@juunit@SackDance99Clowney coasted his senior year, like Coples.  I don't think Clowney can be tagged with having a "low character" unless he has a significant amount of criminality in his background.

SackDance99
SackDance99

@MarshRandy@SackDance99The defense already stops the run and, contrary to what you say, is very good at the short stuff.  The Jets D was killed by the deep pass and that's where the pass rush becomes more important.  Clowney would be a hybrid WILL/DE and paired with Coples would give the Jets as formidable front 7 as there is in the NFL.


As for offense, players can be acquired in the draft (in the 3rd round and later), in free agency (lots of cap room and lots of good UFA WRs) and trades.  When was the last time a 1st round "big time receiver" led a team to the playoffs?  Also, seems to me that some of the biggest rookie seasons by WRs came from 2nd (Boldin, DeSean) and 3rd (Keenan Allen) rounders.  And, I could name a large number of 3rd and 4th round WRs that have become superstars, like Brandon Marshall, TO, and Steve Smith.  This year's UFA "prize" may be 3rd rounder Eric Decker and last year's was 3rd rounder Mike Wallace.


So, like I said, Clowney isn't a need and the offense needs an upgrade, but the idea that getting Clowney means the Jets can't address the offensive needs is wrong.

juunit
juunit

@SackDance99@juunit@Brendan 

That's true for guys who aren't top picks. But the top 13 draft picks last year still got 8 figure deals.

That might not be own a fleet of Ferraris and live in a mansion money, but $10m definitely puts you in the never have to work again category. And the top 3 guys got over $20m last year. 

For a lot of these guys, they come from very poor families. Once they have that kind of money in their bank account, they don't think they need to work again. 

SackDance99
SackDance99

@juunit@BrendanThing is, rookies now have to play for their 2nd contract to get "set for life" money and the Jets have specialized of late in getting the most from players with the "inconsistent effort" tag (hard to believe that Wilkerson and Coples both weathered similar accusations) on defense.  All I know is that when Clowney is on, he's a 1-man wrecking crew.

juunit
juunit

@Brendan@juunit 

He took them off last year too. 1/3 of his sacks in 2012 came in a single game. It is nothing new for him. He is not a high effort player. He has poor conditioning habits. He's just lazy.

He may be talented, but his head isn't on right. After he gets $20m who knows what the hell is gonna happen. I wouldn't touch him with a 39 and a half foot pole. 

Brendan
Brendan

@juunit Dude, he took games off this year. It was very obvious when he was/wasn't trying. It wasn't just that teams started blocking him with more than one guy, they had already started doing that last year. 

juunit
juunit

@Brendan@juunit 

He has always done that. It is not unique to his junior year. I called him out for taking plays off last year. 

Brendan
Brendan

@juunit I watched a lot of his games this year, there were absolutely games where he wasn't playing as hard as he could. 

juunit
juunit

@SackDance99@juunit 

I don't agree that he coasted at all. I said last year after he became the most hyped man in the country that let's see him put up good numbers next year when teams actually start scheming to stop him. Then, voila, he had 3 sacks, and the excuses for why he's still the second coming begin. 

juunit
juunit

@SackDance99@juunit@MarshRandy 

Exceptions, yes. Not the rule. 


Megatron, Fitzgerald, Jones, Green, White, Johnson, Crabtree, Harvin, Wayne and more, all first rounders.


And for all intents and purposes, a guy like Gordon was also essentially a first rounder. The Browns gave up a second rounder to get him. Considering how bad they always are, their second rounder is basically equivalent to a late first. Jeffery wasn't all that far away from the first round either.

MarshRandy
MarshRandy

@SackDance99 @MarshRandy @Bytor @juunit I'm not saying that's how they should evaluate receivers at the draft, I'm just saying from what I've seen over the years scouts/teams value speed a ton. I'd rather have Keenan Allen than Tavon Austin.


Hopefully our scouts find a great receiver, I don't care where he's drafted

SackDance99
SackDance99

@MarshRandy@SackDance99@Bytor@juunitWhatever, you know that I was talking about the speed/height combo.  I would never have traded up for Austin and most re-drafts put Allen in the top 5 picks.  Megatron went no. 2 in the draft only because Crazy Al Davis drafted JaMarcus, which is kind of like the Jets drafting Lam Jones over Anthony Munoz.

SackDance99
SackDance99

@juunit@SackDance99@MarshRandyGarcon, Brandon Marshall, DeSean Jackson, Anquan Boldin, Jordy Nelson, Antonio Brown, Josh Gordon and Alshon Jeffrey would disagree...


I think that you're right about QB...a team is far more likely to get a franchise QB in the 1st round over any other.  LT is getting that way, too.  But, for any other offensive position, there's plenty of talent in the later rounds.  Top defensive players tend to be rarer to find as the draft goes on, especially at DB and DL/OLB.  But, there are exceptions.

juunit
juunit

@SackDance99@juunit@MarshRandy 

I wouldn't say just as likely. There are sometimes players who get drafted in later rounds that end up being elite at every position. But your best bet is still taking someone in the 1st if your goal is to get an elite player. 

I seem to have this discussion with somebody every week. Usually it's about RBs, often it's about QBs. Just because Tom Brady was a 6th rounder, or because Alfred Morris was a 6th rounder, doesn't mean it's a good plan to assume you can get similarly elite players in the 6th round all the time. 

All the very best receivers in the NFL today were not only 1st rounders, but early 1st rounders.

SackDance99
SackDance99

@MarshRandy@SackDance99@juunitUnless the draft prospect is in the Julio Jones/AJ Green/Megatron category, I'd never trade up for a WR.


QB is a different story because the position is so critical.  But, Geno did nothing to win or lose the job, so getting another inexperienced QB to add with Geno and Simms makes no sense.  And, next year might be even better than this year for QB anyhow.

SackDance99
SackDance99

@MarshRandy@SackDance99@Bytor@juunitThe Combine is useful for seeing whether the production on the field matches the measurables; it's not a substitute for real scouting.  For someone like Watkins, it might show that his measurables are not good from an NFL perspective and that could cause his draft stock to go down; conversely, guys like Mike Evans and Matthews could rise.  At the end of the day, a team has to respect its scouting and its board and stick with it.

MarshRandy
MarshRandy

@SackDance99 @juunit @MarshRandy to be clear, I wasn't recommending we trade up for a WR, just that if we did trade up I'd rather it be a WR or QB than a DE considering how our roster is structured 

SackDance99
SackDance99

@juunit@SackDance99@MarshRandyUgh!  That wasn't what I was saying at all.  My only point was that you are just as likely to draft a WR in the 3rd or 4th round that will have a big impact at WR as a 1st rounder.  For instance, there were 5 first rounders in the top 10 for receptions (and only 4 in yards), but 2 6th rounders!  And, 2 of those guys in the top 10 (Garcon and Marshall) were UFAs.  So, as I said before, the 1st round is by no means the only way to get a stud WR.

SackDance99
SackDance99

@Bytor@SackDance99@juunit@MarshRandyI've seen Clowney play and if he can be coached to play at his A-level consistently, he'll be a gamechanger.  As for the WRs, I need to see the Combine numbers before I draw any conclusions.  Without seeing those, I'm not convinced, at this point, that Jordan Matthews won't be the best WR to come out of this draft and he might be a 2nd rounder.

juunit
juunit

@SackDance99@juunit@MarshRandy 

While it's probably true that any WR we draft won't throw up a 1,000 yard season and/or approach double digit TDs, that's a pretty shortsighted way to look at things isn't it? Realistically it's not like we're talking Superbowl until 2015 anyway. 

Don't get me wrong, there's a bunch of later round receivers I'd want us to get. So as long as we got a TE earlier on and signed a quality FA, I'd be cool with not grabbing a WR until later. Especially if the guys worth 18 are all gone.

SackDance99
SackDance99

@MarshRandy@SackDance99@juunitIf the prospect has the right measurables (but, even then, Brandon Marshall lasted until the 4th round).  I don't like taking a 1st round WR unless he is freakish because the bust potential is pretty high.  I'm still recovering from the Lam Jones debacle.

SackDance99
SackDance99

@juunit@SackDance99@MarshRandyMy argument was all about the impact of a rookie WR and that some of the top rookie WR performances have come from non-first rounders.  A Green or Megatron on the right team would have a huge impact, but a rookie sack machine, IMO, has a greater impact on a team's likelihood of making the playoffs.

Plus, Green DID improve the Bengals offense and did help lead them to the playoffs (I was dead wrong).  But, as much as we're down on Dalton, he had a great rookie season, so there is a little "chicken or egg" to that season.  Too bad nobody close to Green's ability is in this draft.


MarshRandy
MarshRandy

@SackDance99 @MarshRandy don't get so caught up on height. Watkins is a freak, and though a step below Green/Jones, it's not far off


It'd be totally irresponsible for a team like the Jets with holes all over the place to trade up and draft a position that's already a strength 

a57se
a57se

@juunit@SackDance99

This is hysterical, SD wants to trade up for Clowney, a guy who basically took his last year in college off, had issues with his HC, etc.but he wouldn't trade up for a QB.........amazing!

juunit
juunit

@SackDance99@juunit@MarshRandy 

Don't be silly. You and I both know that it wasn't AJ Green's fault the Bengals didn't make the playoffs just like it wasn't because of Keenan Allen that the Chargers did. Rivers >>>>>>>>> rookie Dalton.

And I never compared Green to Watkins. Green is much taller, Watkins is much faster. They're both good receivers, but outside of that they really lack any kind of similarity. 

SackDance99
SackDance99

@MarshRandy@SackDance99Watkins (listed pre-combine at 6-1) is nothing like Jones (6-3) or Green (6-4) who match sprinters speed with superior size.  Also, you overstate the impact of Jones (the season before he joined the Falcons, they were 13-3, so they were already a good team) and Green (tough to judge his impact because he and Dalton started together and, in any event, they didn't make the playoffs their 1st season together).


Plus, how about the fact that Keenan Allen, a 3rd rounder, had more of an impact on the Chargers than either Jones or Green had with their teams during their rookie seasons?

MarshRandy
MarshRandy

@SackDance99 AJ Green and Julio Jones completely changed those offenses. Watkins would do the same

SackDance99
SackDance99

@Brendan@Bytor@SackDance99I like Watkins, but he's not in the Megatron, Julio Jones, or AJ Green category of a can't miss transformative prospect.  Clowney, on the other hand, has as much potential as any defensive player that has come out of college in the past decade, maybe longer.

Bytor
Bytor

@SackDance99 @Bytor True, did a bit more reading on him. Surprised at the 6'1" height. I wonder how comparable Watkins and Lee are.