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Jets take longtime special-teams ace Izzo from Patriots

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets signed linebacker and special-teams standout Larry Izzo on Wednesday. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Izzo, 34, played the past eight seasons with the New England Patriots and made the Pro Bowl as a special-teamer three times -- in 2000, 2002 and 2004. He had 14 tackles on special teams last season, marking the eighth time he led his team in that category.

Izzo has 257 special-teams tackles in 188 regular-season games over 13 seasons. He began his NFL career with Miami as an undrafted free agent out of Rice in 1996, and he worked with current Jets special-teams coordinator Mike Westhoff as a Dolphin. Izzo signed with New England in 2001.

"I'm grateful for the chance to be reunited with coach Westhoff, who played a key role early in my career, and look forward to playing for coach (Rex) Ryan as he brings his passionate, physical style of football to New York," Izzo said in a statement released by the Jets. "Having spent my entire career in the AFC East, I'm very familiar with the Jets' incredibly loyal, knowledgeable and passionate fans, and this is an amazing chance to work hard and make them proud."

Izzo also has been listed as one of 39 potential witnesses whom federal prosecutors might call in the perjury trial of Barry Bonds. Izzo is the only NFL player on a government witness list that includes Jason Giambi of the Oakland Athletics and six former major-league baseball players. The trial has been delayed at least until July.

In court papers filed last month, federal prosecutors said Izzo will testify that Bonds' personal trainer, Greg Anderson, provided him with performance-enhancing drugs and showed him how to use them. The court filing stated that Izzo first called Anderson in January 2003 and met him in person in May of that year.

In September 2003, federal agents raided the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative in Burlingame, Calif., and seized documents linking numerous elite athletes in track, baseball, boxing and football to drug use.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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