An open letter to our dear LB's:
Greetings and salutations, Mister Pace and Mister Scott.
Calvin: I've never been your biggest fan. In fact I've had issues with your performance and your contract since you came to the Jets. A lot of this can be attributed to your injury woes since you've arrived in New York. Still, I never thought a six-year 42 million dollar deal with 22 million in guaranteed money was appropriate for a linebacker who had played in 67 games with 38 starts recording 186 tackles, 14 sacks and 11 passes deflected in five years with one trip to injured reserve and multiple demotions.
Bart: I've been a vocal critic of your actions and performance with the team. I still think we got ripped off in the Lewis-Suggs-You bidding war, but buyer beware. There's no way a number two UDFA utility linebacker that puts up meager stats is worth $6,650,000 against the cap or $5 million in base salary with bonus. Your hotheadedness and tendency to get in trouble on the field and with your mouth has been a sticking point for me.
With all of that said, you've worked very hard for our team and what I have to say to you is going to be very difficult:
THANK YOU SO FREAKING MUCH CALVIN AND BART!!! YOU ARE TRUE JETS!!!
For those of you who are unaware, Calvin Pace had us by the absolute balls with his contract this year. Calvin hadn't lived up to his salary the past couple of season, but Pace was valued at $7,118,333 against the cap, and a whopping $9.039,999 in dead money if we were to cut him. That's number 5 in terms of highest cap space allotted for Jets players as of last season. Because of his injury issues and a swell of other banged up linebackers playing for much cheaper, as well as his contract, there was zero trade demand for Pace, nor would anyone have bitten on him.
If Calvin Pace can't have an enormous breakout season within the next couple of years, he is NEVER going to make as much money as he was due this year and in coming seasons. Which is why what Pace did is all the more selfless.
Even though Calvin had every single last shred of leverage this year, knowing full well the Jets could not feasibly cut or trade him, and he could have taken top $$$ this year in hopes of having a great year and getting a new LTC from any team, Calvin reworked his contract with us at the request of management.
Bart didn't have nearly as much leverage, but hurt us a lot more in base salary and nearly matched Pace in cap space and penalties. Bart wasn't more dead money than he was worth, and if you mention Bart Scott in a trade package you know one or two teams will listen. None of this negates the fact that Bart is voluntarily taking less money than he would have to because the team is in need.
It's not as if neither man will benefit from reworking their contract, there's often financial incentive involved to sweeten it, but you really cannot overrate how much this is helping us. Two of the most inflated contracts of the top ten team salaries were just reworked.
SBN user TheSanchize6 is right, Mike T deserves credit for his mastery of the trade and the cap. But I am making an ode to these two men. I was dead wrong about Bart Scott and Calvin Pace. I said they would never rework, and in the case of Pace, nothing was forcing them to. But in order to (hopefully) improve their own team, they saved our asses.
Some things (like this) that players do off the field or in the FO negotiating rooms help us to attain a Super Bowl far more than their on field performance ever could. This is absolutely huge. This is the reason, the single biggest issue I was always a Nnamdi naysayer, and the two Linebackers just sent this biggest free agency issue up in dust.
Even if the Aso deal falls flat on its face, this means retaining our guys or other free agents to bolster us at the very least. This is wonderful news. You can attribute it to Mike T. and the Rex effect all you want, I don't disagree, I'm just giving these men their just credit. Thank you Calvin, and thank you Bart, we are in your debt.