The Jet Press
All-Time Lists

New York Jets: 15 best free agent acquisitions of all-time

Wayne Chrebet, New York Jets. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Wayne Chrebet, New York Jets. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Calvin Pace, New York Jets. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Calvin Pace, New York Jets. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

. . OLB. Calvin Pace. 6. 30


  • Signed a six-year, $42 million contract w/Jets in 2008

  • 116 career games started w/Jets

  • 46 career sacks w/Jets

  • 426 career tackles w/Jets

Calvin Pace is proof that it’s never too late to change your legacy, and that statement holds true in both sports and life alike. Pace was originally cast off as a first-round bust, but managed to completely turn that label around by becoming one of the most productive edge rushers in Jets history.

Drafted by the Arizona Cardinals with the 18th pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, Pace was initially miscast as a defensive end and struggled through his first four seasons, managing just 7.5 sacks during that time span.

But a breakout 2007 season was in order after the Cardinals switch to a 3-4 defense. Pace was able to play as an outside linebacker transforming his game and allowing him to land a hefty contract with the Jets in free agency prior to the 2008 season.

The Wake Forest product would wind up playing in 120 games with the Jets over the following eight seasons, serving as a dependable defensive piece over multiple generations on defense. Pace was there for the dominant Rex Ryan defenses of the late 2000s and early 2010s and he remained a starter even until the days of Ryan Fitzpatrick under center.

In many ways, he was one of the only holdovers from a different time of Jets football.

Pace would retire after the 2015 season, but his legacy would live on as he currently ranks fifth all-time in career sacks and third in forced fumbles with the team.

That’s certainly one way to rewrite your own legacy.

Next: No. 5

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