Late For Work 2/18: Stallworth Good, But More WRs Needed

Plus opinions of the Stallworth signing, Jamal Lewis cut and Antonio Cromartie’s tackling woes.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Thursday, February 18th, 2010 at 9:04 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Stallworth Good, But More WRs Needed

Bringing Donte’ Stallworth to Baltimore was a good move, but he is only one piece of the puzzle, says Jason La Canfora in this NFL.com video.

According to the NFL Network analyst, Baltimore will need to continue to pursue receivers in the restricted free agency and trade markets.

“[Stallworth's] part of the equation, for sure, but he’s not [the answer],” he said. “You talk to people in that organization, they need multiple wide receivers, and they know that. It’s a primary offseason concern for them.”

Not one of the top four receivers from 2009 are currently slated to be in purple and black next season: Derrick Mason (unrestricted free agent, considering retirement), Mark Clayton (restricted free agent), Kelley Washington (unrestricted free agent) and Demetrius Williams (restricted free agent).

That’s why La Canfora believes the Ravens will still be interested in receivers like Anquan Boldin and Brandon Marshall.

“Maybe that means a guy like Kelley Washington who they had interest in bringing back, doesn’t come back. I know they’d like to bring Derrick Mason back for another year, but they need a truly dynamic fulcrum in that offense,” La Canfora said.

“Continue to expect them to be interested in Anquan Boldin and Brandon Marshall, players of that stature in the trade/restricted free agent market because unrestricted free agency just doesn’t hold much in terms of wide receiver value.”

Driving the point even further, Jamie Dukes of NFL Network said he believes Stallworth’s blazing speed and ability to stretch the field makes pursuing Boldin and Marshall even more palatable because Stallworth would complement their strengths.

“I would not be surprised, if you believe the reports that are out there, Anquan Boldin or possibly Brandon Marshall could be available for a two (draft pick), maybe a late one, or something like that,” Dukes said.

“If that is the case, I’d much rather throw a second-round pick possibly for a guy we know is a Pro Bowl receiver in Boldin than just basically going out there and winging it with somebody else.”

Stallworth Signing a Good or Bad Move? Opinions From Around the Web

ESPN’s James Walker: High Risk, High Reward
“[This signing] is a high-risk and high-reward move for Baltimore. Stallworth’s case of DUI manslaughter was certainly the more severe of the two incidents. But a base salary of $900,000 is not much if Stallworth learns from his mistakes and is productive next season.

“How much can Stallworth help on the field? That remains to be seen. Stallworth hasn’t played a down since 2008, and even then he struggled with injuries and production with Cleveland. But from what I’m told, the Ravens liked Stallworth’s workout this week and the shape that he’s in. Also, getting into the offseason program early can only help.”

Baltimore Sun’s Mike Preston: Not The Answer, But Worth Gamble
“In reality, the signing of Stallworth is just a further indictment of the Ravens’ receivers from a year ago. Let’s make this perfectly clear: Stallworth is not The Answer.

“I understand the Ravens’ situation. In fact, I would take the gamble myself because Stallworth agreed to a one-year deal worth only about $900,000.”

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco: Ravens Needed and Got Speed
“The Baltimore Ravens need speed. Donte’ Stallworth has speed. That makes the 1-year contract for $900,000 he signed with the team Wednesday a good signing for the Ravens.

“If he’s close to having the same speed, he will help a Baltimore offense that needs to liven up the passing game. Stallworth truly sounds like a changed man after the horrible crash that led to his suspension and the death of a man.”

Baltimore Sun’s Ron Fritz: I Don’t See It
“Maybe the Ravens see something in Donte’ Stallworth that I don’t. Here’s what I see: A career underachiever who is always injured and looks out for No. 1 — himself.”

ESPN’s Rumor Central: Stallworth is a No. 2 WR
“How much can Donte’ help Balt? Stallworth, if he’s able to return to form, is capable of putting up No. 2 receiver numbers as he did in stints with the Saints and Patriots.”

Jamal Lewis Cut by Browns, Unsure of Future

Former Ravens running back Jamal Lewis said he is unsure if he will play next season after being cut by Cleveland yesterday, according to the Associated Press.

Lewis had one year remaining on his contract and released this statement:

“I plan to evaluate my future and have not made a final determination on whether I will be playing football next season.”

During the season, after landing on IR with concussion symptoms, Lewis said he intended to retire.

Cromartie’s Tackling Could Use Work

Cornerback Antonio Cromartie is on the trading block and he’s been there for the majority of the past year, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The Dallas Cowboys rejected the Chargers’ proposed deal for running back Tashard Choice in exchange for Cromartie, according to Aaron Wilson of National Football Post.

Perhaps part of the reason Cromartie remains on the trading block is because of questions surrounding his tackling ability.

“You say Deion Sanders didn’t like to tackle people,” said Nick Canepa of the Union-Tribune. “Cromartie isn’t Deion, either. Incredible potential, yes, but potential is a word people keep using when you haven’t done enough.”

This footage has surley been seen by prospective bidders.

Quick Hits

  • Days after Cowboys reciever Miles Austin said he wasn’t concerned with the status of his expiring contract, team owner Jerry Jones said he doesn’t expect to lose the Pro Bowler, reported USA Today.
  • An NFL spokesman told SI.com the league will keep its rookie salary cap and draft slotting system intact in 2010, even though the league could drop it if, as expected, the overall salary cap expires.
  • David Pittman, the Ravens’ 87th overall draft selection in 2006, was signed to the 80-man offseason roster by the Pittsburgh Steelers, giving the cornerback another shot in the NFL, according to the team’s Website.

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