With Jets pass-rush specialist Antwan Barnes out for most of the season due to an injury, Calvin Pace saw more time as a pass-rusher and registered a career-high 10 sacks thanks to the Sons of Anarchy. With the dominant youngsters, Pace was allowed to patiently work the edge and collect coverage and/or "hustle" sacks all season long.
After Pace collecting 10 sacks for Jets in 2013, the team should be able to manufacture more sacks out of their veteran group again in 2014. Pace will push for time on the edge along with Antwan Barnes, who will be back this year after a season-ending injury in 2013. Even though the team has now re-signed Pace the talent at the edge is still thin, so look to see if the Jets don't add linebacker / defensive ends in the middle rounds of the NFL Draft in May as longer-term and depth solutions.
While there were some tempting veteran edge players like DeMarcus Ware and Julius Peppers that were on the market shortly, none seemed interested in coming to New York. After letting DRC and a number of players walk without contracts, it's hard to not feel frustrated with John Idzik's slow-playing of free agency. So far the Jets have done more in re-signing or cutting their own players over to bringing new players into the organization.
The problem with the 2013 team was that it needed more talent to compete for a playoff spot. So far, the team doesn't seem substantially better than it was after almost a week into free agency outside the Eric Decker signing. 95% of the top 50 free agents have signed with clubs. Little top-tier talent remains, are the Jets going to make a few calculated risks?
No one is suggesting that the Jets should throw good money after bad contracts. But comparing the amount of cap space the team has to the level of talent the team has imported thus far? As best I can tell, the natives are getting restless ...