Calvin Pace will turn 34 midway through the 2014 season, but despite his advancing age, the New York Jets are interested in re-signing the outside linebacker, according to Tony Pauline of Draft Insider. Pace is coming off a career-best 10 sacks in 2013 after recording 7.5 over his previous two seasons.
Pace will be an unrestricted free agent in March if the Jets don't re-sign him before then. If they do re-sign him, he could accept a one-year contract at the veteran minimum, much like the deal he signed prior to the start of the 2013 season.
Pace was thought to be on his way out with the Jets at one point. He was released by the team in February with one year remaining on the six-year deal he signed in 2008. Pace was brought back in April, however, and proceeded to earn a starting role in what was a stout front seven. The Jets were first in the NFL, giving up just 3.4 yards per carry, and 13th with 41 sacks on the season.
Whether the Jets should bring Pace back is a subject of debate among fans. Scott Salmon at Jets blog Gang Green Nation took a look at Pace's 10 sacks on the season and determined that the veteran's numbers were more the benefit of impeccable coverage downfield and iffy stat-keeping. Salmon also argues that Pace's presence could hurt the development of younger outside linebackers on the team.
The Jets apparently see things differently, however.