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A day after being reinstated by the league, wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth has been released by the Cleveland Browns and is now an interesting free agent.
The huge red flag with Stallworth is that he is coming off a year-long suspension after he killed a pedestrian while driving drunk. However, Ravens management said last Wednesday that it considers every option and is willing to take chances on players who have made mistakes.
The Ravens can’t comment or contact players that are under contract with other teams, but BaltimoreRavens.com takes a look at the pros and cons.
Stallworth has proven that he can play. During his first six seasons in the NFL, he averaged more than 700 receiving yards per year. His best season came in 2005 as a member of the New Orleans Saints when he logged 70 catches for 945 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Ravens could use a play-making wide receiver that can stretch the field and Stallworth is just that. In 2006, while with the Philadelphia Eagles, he had touchdown receptions of 84 and 75 yards.
If released, Stallworth would be an unrestricted free agent and likely would come at a low cost. See cons for proof on why he won’t command big money.
1) Character Issues
Stallworth was reinstated into the league on Sunday after serving a one-year suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct and substance abuse policies. On March 14, 2009, he struck and killed a pedestrian while driving drunk. Stallworth plead guilty to a DUI manslaughter charge and spent 24 days in a Miami jail.
Stallworth, 29, hasn’t had a standout season since 2007 and his games started, receiving yards and touchdowns have dropped in each of the past four years. I’m counting 2009 because they all went to 0. Who knows how much rust he would have after a year away from NFL competition?
3) Injury Concerns
Even when active, Stallworth has battled through several injuries as he bounced from the Saints to the Eagles, then Patriots and finally Browns over the past four seasons. Hamstring issues cost him four games in 2006 and a quad problem held him out of five contests in 2008.