FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Of all the differences for Calvin Pace in his return to the Jets, the most jarring might be all the new faces -- and all the players who didn’t make it through new general manager John Idzik house cleaning. He noted it was weird not seeing Eric Smith, or hearing Bart Scott heckle the offense. But the biggest difference was the absence of Darrelle Revis.
“I was disappointed,” Pace said. “I consider Revis a friend since the day I got here and and I just kind of watched him grow into what I feel is the best corner in the NFL. And to not have that is disheartening, but again that’s the way of our business.”
New York Jets
The good side, Pace said, was that Tampa Bay got the player that it wanted, and Revis will get the kind of money he was looking for.
“The jury is out on how our side of the deal worked out,” Pace said.
That’s just one of the many unknowns as Pace returns for his sixth season in New York. Due to make about $8 million under his old contract, Pace was cut after the regular season. When he re-signed, he got a $65,000 signing bonus but will only make about $940,000 in salary on his one-year deal.
“There were a couple other opportunities out there where I think coaches wanted me a little more than the GMs,” Pace said. “So when I weighed it out, it wasn’t worth moving to a different town and trying to get to know different players of whatever, so this is the best fit for me.”
Asked if it simply boiled down to money, Pace cracked a smile.
“I try not to think about it too much,” Pace said. “It’s not a happy topic getting fired. It happened, I’ve moved past it. I think they have too.”
Ryan said it was good to have Pace back, just as one of the few common denominators between last season and this one, in addition to all the other things he brings to the Jets.
“That was a big signing for us, he’s kind of like the glue.”
Pace sees a lot of Ryan now, since even in the defensive meetings with coordinator Dennis Thurman, Ryan is a regular. Ryan has reverted to his original hands-on philosophy.
“It’s a lot different. Basically [Rex] was never really too much in the meetings before,” Pace said. “Now he’s in there permanent -- which is cool.”
After 10 seasons in the NFL, Pace said he doesn’t have any plans to retire.
"Nowadays I guess it’s the way of football. I guess it was good while it lasted. They going to have to kick me out of here,” he said.
So as it is, he will have to get used to his old team with a new look, where he can walk out on the field and see a white jersey with the No. 24 worn by running back John Griffin.
OK, so maybe some things he’s just not ready to accept.
“If I was him, I think I’d let that number sit down for a year,” Pace said.