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Jets OLB Pace sad Jones is gone

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
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Posted March 18, 2010 @ 10:27 a.m. ET
By Dan Parr

There have been rumblings from New York that some Jets players are upset with the team's decision to cut Thomas Jones. Those players could have another reason to be angry after seeing reports that the Jets said no thanks when Jones offered to re-sign with the team if it agreed to match the offer he eventually accepted from the Chiefs, which reportedly included less money than the Jets agreed to pay LaDainian Tomlinson.

Jets OLB Calvin Pace said he was disappointed to see Jones go, but doesn't think it will be a situation that lingers and causes friction between players and the front office or players loyal to Jones and the team's new running back, Tomlinson, who recently signed a two-year deal.

"Obviously, I don't think (the decision to cut Jones) had anything to do with his ability to perform on the field," Pace told PFW. "… There's no question about his ability. I'm sure it was business. In that aspect, I'm kind of sad to see him go. Plus, he was a great guy and a great leader in the locker room.

"I think that it just shows the closeness of our team. Guys really bonded with T.J. and they liked him personally. It's sad to see him go, but I truly believe LaDainian is going to help us and become one of the guys.

"I think the opportunity to come to New York will be a breath of fresh air. I think it will revitalize (Tomlinson) and give him a little extra pep in his step."

Pace, who had a career-high eight sacks in only 12 games last season, also said he was excited about the Jets' other big addition of the offseason, CB Antonio Cromartie, who was acquired from the Chargers in a trade.

"Antonio will help us out greatly and take some of the pressure of always having to cover the No. 1 receiver off Darrelle (Revis)," he said. "Darrelle can do it, but I'm pretty sure he would like to be able to go up against the No. 2 receiver (for a couple snaps)."

While being supportive of the moves, Pace admitted that he thought the team still would be contending even if they were not made.

'We didn't need a lot," he said. "If we would've kept T.J. and not made any moves, I think we'd still be a strong team and a strong contender."

Pace was in his home state of Georgia on Tuesday and he spoke to kids involved in after-school programs about the important of staying in school on Wednesday in Atlanta. Pace is involved in the After-School All-Stars' Touchdown Shutdown program.

"I'm just trying to tell (the kids) my story and some of the things that I went through, try to uplift them," said Pace, who will make a donation to the program. "Everybody's not going to be receptive to your message, but hopefully, whether they like sports or want to be doctors or teachers, I just tell them to keep pushing. Adverse situations are going to come up, but it's something they can make it through."

 

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