Calvin Pace, New York Jets and Former AZ Cardinals Linebacker, Sued for $2.8 Million by Cardinals and NFL

The Arizona Cardinals and NFL Management Council filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against former Cards player Calvin Pace, demanding he pay $2.8 million for lost time during the 2005 season.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S District Court in Arizona, states that Pace "severely injured his arm while wrestling with a friend" on October 15, 2005, a screw-up that put Pace on the bench for the rest of that season. The failure to report to work triggered his contract's forfeiture provision, the NFL and Cards allege.

The football league has been trying to get the money from Pace for a few years, judging by a 2005 ESPN article on the matter.

The Cards and NFL council filed a grievance against Pace for the cash in January of 2006, the lawsuit says. Four years later, an arbitration meeting took place in Tempe before court-appointed arbitrator Michael Beck, who issued a final ruling last month against Pace.


Despite Beck's ruling, Pace has failed to pay the award -- nor has he bothered to challenge the ruling, the lawsuit says. That, in turn, means he's violated the terms of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, which requires Pace to submit to the arbitration finding.

The Cardinals and NFL management council want a judge to confirm the award, force Pace to cough up the dough and pay attorneys' fees in the case.

It's a steep price to pay, but Pace, who's listed in the lawsuit as an unmarried man, should be able to afford it.

The talented player for the New York Jets signed a six-year, $42 million contract that reportedly guarantees him $22 million.



Click here for the lawsuit in PDF format.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.