Stallworth suspended for 2009 season

According to a report by, the NFL has suspended Browns receiver Donte’ Stallworth for the entire 2009 season without pay.

In a letter to Stallworth made public Thursday, commissioner Roger Goodell said, “I believe that further consequences are necessary” in addition to the punishment handed down by the legal system.

“There is no question that your actions had tragic consequences to an innocent man and his family, and that you have violated both the Substances of Abuse and Personal Conduct Policies,” Goodell said. “In that respect, you are clearly guilty of conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the NFL.”

“Your conduct endangered yourself and others, leading to the death of an innocent man. The NFL and NFL players must live with the stain that you have placed on their reputations,” Goodell said.

People are immediately going to compare this suspension to the one that Michael Vick will receive (four to six games) and think that Goodell was harder on Stallworth than he will be on Vick. But don’t forget that Vick already served 23 months in jail, so that plays into the length of his suspension.

Then again, even though the 30 days Stallworth got for killing a pedestrian was light, he has showed remorse from the moment of the accident and has accepted his punishment. Vick, on the other hand, lied from the get-go about his involvement with dog fighting and, at least in some people’s eyes, has yet to show much remorse. He lied to Goodell, lied to Falcons owner Arthur Blank, and lied to the public. So why should he only get a four or six game suspension while Stallworth is suspended 16 games? It’s an interesting debate.

Either way, Stallworth’s career is definitely in jeopardy. It’s highly doubtful that he’ll ever play for the Browns again and given his age, (lack of) production and durability concerns, other teams may pass on him as well.

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