NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Linebacker Calvin Pace is coming back to the New York Jets on a one-year deal, according to multiple reports.

Did he ever even leave?

Gang Green released Bart Scott, Pace, Eric Smith, Jason Smith and Josh Baker in February, which saved the team about $31 million in salary cap space.

Entering the final year of his six-year, $42 million contract, the 32-year-old would have cost New York $11.6 million in 2013.

“…Calvin and Eric (Smith) have been an instrumental part of our defense for the past four years,” Jets head coach Rex Ryan said in February.

Pace, a 2003 first-round pick by Arizona, spent his first five seasons with the Cardinals before signing a six-year deal with the Jets in 2008. He had seven sacks in his first season in New York and eight the following year, but never became the dominant pass rusher that the Jets envisioned.

He struggled with various injuries and his role changed at times, limiting him just to 13 sacks in the last three years. The 32-year-old Pace has 42 career sacks, and played mostly at outside linebacker for the Jets.

Pace played in every game for New York in 2012. He recorded 55 tackles, three sacks and a fumble recovery. He didn’t force any fumbles and didn’t have an interception.

The Jets also signed outside linebacker Antwan Barnes to a three-year deal in March.

Happy to have Pace back on the team, Jets fans? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…

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