Jets

Calvin Pace Returning To Jets’ ‘D’ On 2-Year Deal

Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (L) and linebacker Calvin Pace (R) celebrate after sacking quarterback Josh Freeman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on September 8, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the Bucs 18-17. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (L) and linebacker Calvin Pace (R) celebrate after sacking quarterback Josh Freeman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on September 8, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the Bucs 18-17. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The New York Jets have re-signed veteran linebacker Calvin Pace to a two-year deal, bringing back one of their sacks leaders from last season.

Pace had a career-high 10 sacks for Rex Ryan’s defense — second only to Muhammad Wilkerson’s 10 1/2 — in his sixth season with the Jets. The 33-year-old outside linebacker was an unrestricted free agent.

“With Calvin, he knows our system so well,” Ryan said at last month’s NFL combine, according to the New York Post. “It’s such a comfort level for me that way, but when you guys asked me about who’s the most improved player — clearly, Geno (Smith) was an improved player. You can see that statistically. But how about Calvin Pace?”

“I don’t care how old Calvin was. He had 10 sacks,” Ryan added. “He had a tremendous year.”

Pace’s deal is worth $5 million, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Pace, who played his first five NFL seasons with Arizona, has 52 career sacks and has started every game the last three years. He is likely to be slated to start opposite Quinton Coples again this season.

The Jets cut Pace last offseason to save money under the salary cap before re-signing him last April. He rewarded them by having one of his best overall seasons, which included 53 tackles, two forced fumbles and three passes defensed.

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