The New York Jets have signed two unrestricted free agents, LB Calvin Pace from the Arizona Cardinals and OL Damien Woody from the Detroit Lions. The announcements were made by Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum.
Pace (6'4", 270), originally selected 18th overall in the 2003 NFL Draft out of Wake Forest by Arizona, has played in 67 games in his NFL career, making 38 starts. In five seasons with the Cardinals, he totaled 186 tackles, 14 sacks and 11 passes defensed.
In 2007, his first season as a 3-4 linebacker, Pace started all 16 games and recorded 106 tackles, 6.5 sacks, six passes defensed, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and one interception. It was the second time in his career that he started all 16 games and he established career highs in tackles, sacks, interceptions, passes defensed and fumble recoveries.
"Calvin is an intelligent young player who has been productive as an outside linebacker in the 3-4 alignment," said Jets head coach Eric Mangini. "He has been effective with his hand on and off the ground. I found him to be an impressive young man and our coaches are looking forward to working with him."
"Calvin is a versatile player who has demonstrated the ability to handle the demands of being an outside linebacker," said Tannenbaum. "We believe that his skills will translate well to what we are trying to accomplish defensively."
Woody (6'3", 335) has started 121 of 128 regular-season games at three different positions along the offensive line, contributing at center, guard and tackle. He has also started in four postseason games, including Super Bowl XXXVI. Woody, originally drafted 17th overall in the 1999 draft out of Boston College by New England, earned Pro Bowl honors following the 2002 season.
"Damien is a versatile player who has experience at a number of positions," said Mangini. "I spent four seasons with him in New England and know that he is a diligent performer with a good work ethic."
"Damien Woody provides us with a big, experienced offensive lineman who has position flexibility," said Tannenbaum. "He played in the AFC East for the first five years of his career and we feel he is a good fit for our team."
"I'm ecstatic to be with the Jets," Woody said. "I am familiar with Eric Mangini and [quarterbacks coach] Brian Daboll and it feels good to be reunited with them. I am looking forward to returning to the AFC East and contributing to this team."
With the addition of Pace and Woody, the Jets have signed four players since the free agency period began Friday. The team has also signed guard Alan Faneca as an unrestricted free agent from Pittsburgh and acquired defensive tackle Kris Jenkins in a trade with Carolina.