Salary jump: Under-the-radar free agents set for big payoffs

Calvin Pace may not be a household name, but he and several other under-the-radar free agents are set for big payoffs, writes Len Pasquarelli.

Originally Published: February 28, 2008
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Less than three years ago, the Arizona Cardinals considered handing underachieving defensive end Calvin Pace a pink slip. The former first-round pick had missed the final 11 games of the 2005 season due to an accident in which he severely lacerated his right forearm after he slipped and smashed through a window of a sliding door. The non-football related injury allowed the team to withhold 65 percent of his $473,750 base salary.

But now, with the veteran edge defender ready to move ...

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