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Jets bring back LB Calvin Pace with one-year deal

New York Jets linebacker Calvin Pace (97) chases

New York Jets linebacker Calvin Pace (97) chases Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game. (Aug. 26, 2012) Credit: AP

Two months after the Jets cut linebacker Calvin Pace to clear salary-cap space, both parties have agreed to terms on a one-year contract, two sources confirmed to Newsday Tuesday. Terms of the deal, which is pending a physical, were not disclosed.

Pace, 32, signed a six-year, $42-million contract in 2008 and carried a cap charge of $11.6 million in 2013. But by cutting him in February, the Jets saved $8.6 million in cap room.

The salary dump involving Pace, Bart Scott, Eric Smith, Jason Smith and Josh Baker (who was waived) was the first big roster move of John Idzik's tenure as general manager. By cutting those players, the Jets, who then were about $26.3 million over the projected cap, cleared almost $31 million in space.

Pace has 42 sacks in a 10-year NFL career, registering 15 in his first two seasons with the Jets (2008, 2009). Last season, he had three sacks and 55 tackles in 16 games. Although he never lived up to the Jets' expectations as a dominant pass rusher after he left the Cardinals, Pace provides depth and versatility to a defense gutted by free agency.

With fellow outside linebacker Bryan Thomas, 33, not expected to return, the Jets signed Antwan Barnes last month to a three-year deal worth about $4 million. Barnes, 28, had 72 tackles and 181/2 sacks the past three seasons for the Chargers.

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