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Jets re-sign Calvin Pace to 2-year deal

Calvin Pace (97) looks on during warmups before

Calvin Pace (97) looks on during warmups before a game against the New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. Credit: Lee S. Weissman

The Jets have re-signed free-agent linebacker Calvin Pace to a two-year deal worth $5 million, according to a source.

Pace, 33, had a career year in 2013, totaling 10 sacks in his 11th season. He trailed only Muhammad Wilkerson, who recorded 101/2. They're the first two Jets to have double-digit sacks in the same season since New York Sack Exchange members Joe Klecko (201/2) and Mark Gastineau (20) did it in 1981.

A first-round pick of the Cardinals in 2003, Pace has played six seasons with the Jets. He signed a six-year, $42-million contract in 2008 but was released last offseason because he carried a cap charge of $11.6 million in 2013. The move saved the Jets $8.6 million in cap room. They later re-signed him to a one-year deal.

Back in December, when Rex Ryan's job appeared to be in jeopardy, Pace told reporters there's "a 1,000-percent chance'' he'd be back if the Jets want him and Ryan is the coach.

Ryan repeatedly praised Pace's level of play in 2013 and even touted him for Pro Bowl consideration, along with Wilkerson, tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson and center Nick Mangold.

"I think Calvin Pace deserves it,'' Ryan said in late December. "I'm not sure if he'll get any [votes]. I think we should have a few guys on there for sure.''

The only Jets to make the Pro Bowl were Mangold and cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who was released last week.

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