The New York Jets have re-signed linebacker Calvin Pace to a two-year contract worth a little over $5 million. Coming off a career-high 10 sacks season, Pace was given a very unusual extension by general manager John Idzik.
It’s common knowledge that Idzik doesn’t usually re-sign aging players past one year, especially with Pace who is 33 years old and the oldest starter on defense last season. What was the ultimate reason for his contract extension?
It’s easy since Idzik knows exactly what he’s doing.
Idzik will utilize the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft and might surprise many with the first few picks the Jets will have in the early rounds. While most predict the Jets will go after the top wide receivers available, Idzik could shock many and actually go after a superstar at the linebacker position.
The player who fits the mold for the Jets’ style of shutdown defense is none other than linebacker Anthony Barr of UCLA.
Barr could very well slip under the radar and be available for the Jets when they select the No. 18 overall pick in the first round. Not only is Barr a speed rusher and able to completely shake up even the most potent offenses, but he will learn a whole lot from Pace with his 12 years of NFL experience.
It’s a great situation if you think about it since Pace is getting towards the end of his career, so he will easily continue being a mentor not only to the defensive squad, but also to a young stud like Barr. The two could develop a great relationship so once Pace finally calls it quits, Barr will pick up exactly where he left off.
Idzik continues to get backlash from Jets fans with his personnel moves, but in the end, he has some huge tricks left up his sleeve.