An old friend is back for the New York Jets. Recently, New York signed outside linebacker Calvin Pace to a one year contract. Pace was cut earlier in an effort to create salary cap space. In 2008, he became part of a star-studded spending spree that included legendary quarterback Brett Favre and guard Alan Faneca.
Pace came over from the Arizona Cardinals while being targeted as a pass rusher with elite potential. The final year of a six- year $42million contract was voided. Pace performed well the first three years of this deal before his play began to decline. There were only three sacks that he registered this past year which was his lowest amount since 2006. As a result of a perceived drop off New York fans may be wondering why the Jets decided to bring him back.
Garrett McIntyre represents an intriguing option. As a part time member of the defensive rotation McIntyre played well. Antwan Barnes signed on with New York recently from the San Diego Chargers. Barnes, of course, spent two seasons with Jets head coach Rex Ryan while they were both with the Baltimore Ravens. The versatile player had one great season with 11 sacks in 2011. He has been inconsistent throughout the course of his career. Even though he most likely is not a reliable starter, Barnes provides a solid backup. As I have said on other occasions New York should look to the NFL Draft when trying to find a starter.
Barkevious Mingo from LSU could definitely provide some help. While Mingo is a potentially great addition from a pass rushing standpoint, he can also step up and make tackles. Although Pace is not as good as he used to be, the veteran linebacker will be useful in a more limited role.