The New York Jets might bring back someone who has been a pivotal player in their defense over the past few seasons, as the team is reportedly looking at re-signing Calvin Pace after cutting him in February.
As with many of the moves the Jets have made recently, releasing Pace was motivated by salary and salary only. The outside linebacker was due to earn over $3 million in 2013, and the team is well over the salary cap. Although Pace was a big factor as a stand-up pass-rushing linebacker on the menacing Jets defenses that got the team to the AFC Championship game two seasons in a row, he - like the Jets - experienced a decline in 2012, only recording three sacks and 55 tackles, his lowest numbers since being a reserve with the Cardinals in 2006.
2012 aside, the team is interested in bringing him back, per Rich Cimini of ESPN New York. Cimini writes that the team, despite signing Antwan Barnes, still needs bodies at the outside linebacker spot. Pace will be in his 12th season in the league, and doesn't bring the same pop he once did, but still seems to be serviceable - and affordable - for a team searching for answers. Pace is familiar with how Rex Ryan operates things, although the question seems to be less about whether they want him and more about whether the cash-strapped organization can reach affordable terms with the linebacker.