Late For Work 2/23: 1 More Plus For Signing Stallworth

Plus some wonder if Peppers is worth the money and Bengals haven’t pursued T.O.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 at 9:03 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

1 More Plus For Signing Stallworth

We already know the reported $900,000 investment in Donte’ Stallworth is a low financial risk with a player that has big upside potential.

But, how does free sound?

According to Sports Illustraded’s Peter King, Stallworth’s reported $900,000 salary doesn’t become guaranteed for the year unless he is on the Week 1 roster.

“Look at it this way,” King said. “The Ravens will get to training camp sometime near the end of July, and they’ll have 45 days to figure out if he can play. For free. Or actually, simply for the training camp pay plus per diem that every player makes.”

“If a veteran receiver, healthy, runs the fastest time of anyone on your team, what’s the drawback (other than publicity and/or moral outrage) of signing him?”

Stallworth, 6-foot, 200 pounds, is no doubt aware of the potential moral outrage and that’s why King says the recently reinstated receiver is supremely motivated to be an upstanding and productive player.

Stallworth was out of football for the entire 2009 season after a year-long suspension and serving jail time for killing a pedestrian in Miami while driving with a blood-alcohol limit reported to be above Florida’s legal limit.

“If a man has done his time and been banned from his livelihood for a year, how much longer would the ban have to be before you’d think he deserves to play for his living again,” King asked. “Two years? Five? Fifty?”

Is Peppers Worth the Pricetag?

Yesterday we saw a lot of movement around the NFL: running back LaDainian Tomlinson was released by the Chargers, the Patriots put the franchise tag on nose tackle Vince Wilfork and the Panthers are expected to allow Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers to become a free agent next month.

Of all those moves, I’ve seen the most chatter around the Flock about the possibility of signing the 6-7, 283 pound defensive end to help improve the Ravens’ pass rush.

Baltimore’s front office has made no indication of such a move, but Ross Tucker of Sports Illustrated said that teams shouldn’t be too quick to sign Peppers to a blockbuster deal.

“That’s because Peppers is so gifted, he has gotten away with taking off more than his share of plays,” Tucker said.

Multiple reports have labeled Peppers as a player who lacks passion for the game.

“Peppers’ production has been significant enough that the Panthers have tolerated his inconsistency over the years, but now that he’s up for a big contract, that tolerance should fade,” Tucker added. “Just think: This could be the last contract Peppers signs. With no contract year looming down the road, who knows what kind of production he’d deliver under this deal.”

As the Panthers’ franchise player last season, Peppers made a reported $16.7 million which turned out to be about $1.6 million per sack, as Sporting News points out.

Peter King tweeted that an NFL executive thinks Peppers, 30, would be lucky to get $10 million a year in a new contract.

Ten million dollars may be less than what the gifted pass rusher is hoping for, but if the Ravens wanted him, it would likely require using their one chance to sign an unrestricted free agent for an estimated $5.5 million or more in Year One of their contract under the “Final Eight” rules.

T.O. in Cincy? Don’t Hold Your Breath

Despite Chad Ochocinco’s repeated pleas for his team to sign free agent receiver Terrell Owens, who isn’t likely to return to the Bills in 2010, Newsday’s Bob Glauber said that Ochocinco shouldn’t hold his breath.

Ochocinco even offered to take a pay cut (check out his offer outside an L.A. restaurant in the TMZ.com video below) in order to bring T.O. to Cincinnati.

How serious are the Bengals taking Ochocinco’s petition?

“Well, let’s put it this way,” Glauber said. “I’m told by a source familiar with the team’s situation that Ochocinco is the only one discussing the matter. The source said it’s not impossible that Owens will be a Bengal in 2010, but it’s very preliminary at this point.”

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