New York Jets DE/OLB Calvin Pace has been suspended without pay for
the team’s first four regular-season games of 2009 for violating the NFL policy
on performance enhancing substances, the league announced on Thursday.
Pace's suspension begins on Saturday, September 5. He is eligible to return to
the Jets’ active roster on Monday, October 5 following the team’s October 4 game
against the New Orleans Saints. Pace is eligible to participate in all preseason
practices and games.
Pace, who signed a six-year, $42 million deal with the Jets back in March of
2008, will lose four game checks totaling $176,470 (four-seventeenths of his
base salary). Pace's base salary for 2009 is just $750,000, but a league source
said he carries a salary cap number over $7 million.
"This is a situation that resulted from an over-the-counter dietary supplement
that contained a substance that I did not know violated the League’s policy. I
am responsible for what I put into my body and I should have paid closer
attention to the League’s guidelines. I regret that this has happened and
apologize to my teammates, the entire Jets organization as well as the fans.
Hopefully, this does not distract from our ultimate goal of winning the Super
Bowl," Pace said in reaction to his four-game suspension.
Pace, who turns 29 in October, was originally selected in the first round of the
2003 draft by the Arizona Cardinals. He was a major disappointment for the
Cardinals until the final season of his rookie deal when he played mostly
outside linebacker. His breakout season in 2007 yielded him the huge free agent
contract detailed above from the Jets.
With Pace out four games, pressure will be on second-year DE/OLB Vernon
Gholston to make a strong contribution especially early in the season.
Unfortunately, the former 2008 first-round pick only participated in roughly 16
percent of the defensive snaps last season and posted just 13 combined tackles
along with zero sacks.
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