Can Stallworth make an impact for the Ravens?

Desperate to give quarterback Joe Flacco more weapons in the passing game, the Ravens signed receiver Donte’ Stallworth to a one-year, $900,000 contract. The deal also includes $300,000 in playing time incentives, according to

Baltimore is obviously hurting at receiver. Two of the Ravens’ top three leaders in receptions last year were Ray Rice and Todd Heap. Kelley Washington and Mark Clayton finished with only 34 receptions last year and neither receiver cracked the 500-yard mark. In his seven-year career, Stallworth has averaged over 42 receptions a season, which would have placed him second in that category last year behind Derrick Mason among Baltimore receivers.

That said, Stallworth didn’t play a down last year after being suspended for striking and killing a pedestrian with his car in Miami. Plus, the last time he was even semi-productive was three years ago in New England when he caught 46 passes for 697 yards and three touchdowns. He caught just 17 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown in 11 games with Cleveland in 2008.

Stallworth probably won’t make much of an impact in Baltimore this year and chances are the team isn’t done trying to upgrade the position either. But at the very least, it’s hard not to like this signing more than the Bengals’ decision to ink Matt Jones earlier this week. At least Stallworth still has something that resembles speed.

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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.

Jim Brown: Stallworth might have smoked pot before accident

Browns’ legendary running back Jim Brown says that Donte Stallworth might have smoked pot the evening/morning of his car accident that took the life of Miami pedestrian Mario Reyes.

Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown, who remains a senior member of Cleveland Browns management, suggested on Friday that Browns receiver Donte’ Stallworth(notes) was smoking marijuana on the evening/morning of the accident that claimed the life of 59-year-old Mario Reyes, according to

Brown made his remarks during an appearance on 790 The Ticket’s The Dan LeBatard Show.

“This situation is a tragedy all around, but what was involved was alcohol and marijuana,” Brown said.

“On one hand, DUI is a very serious thing in America. Marijuana of course is against all the rules.”

Brown explained that he has some “inside information that says that that was also a part of what was detected,” presumably in the blood test imposed on Stallworth. Brown said he’s not “100 percent sure” that this is true, but Brown said he spoke with a ” very reliable source” who shared this information, according to the report.

It Brown isn’t 100% sure that any of this is true, then he shouldn’t be saying it. And even if it is true, Stallworth has already cut a deal to only serve less than 30 days in jail so this changes nothing.

I have a hard time believing that if pot were involved, that that information would have been released along with Stallworth’s blood alcohol level. I’d take this report with a major grain of salt and I question Brown’s motives here.

Will Stallworth play this season?

In the wake of his decision to plead guilty to DUI manslaughter, Browns receiver Donte Stallworth was suspended indefinitely by the NFL on Thursday and will now have to wait until commissioner Roger Goodell decides how long that suspension will last.

An indefinite suspension could mean a lot of things. Michael Vick was suspended indefinitely for being imprisoned on federal dog-fighting charges and is still waiting to hear how long his suspension will actually last. Adam “Pacman” Jones was suspended indefinitely last October after fighting with a bodyguard in a hotel bathroom and only received four games.

But chances are, indefinitely means at least one season for Stallworth. In Goodell’s written letter to Stallworth about the suspension the commish wrote, “Your conduct reflected in your guilty plea resulted in the tragic loss of life and was inexcusable.”

That doesn’t sound like a man who’s ready to suspend a player only four or six games. This is just speculation on my part, but I’m willing to bet that Stallworth serves at least a 16-game suspension and has to sit out the entire 2009 season.

If he is out the entire season, the Browns did a nice job this offseason preparing for Stallworth’s absence. They drafted Ohio State wideout Brian Robiskie and Georgia receiver Mohamed Massaquoi in the second round of April’s draft and also signed free agent Mike Furrey. For now, everything also looks copacetic with Braylon Edwards, who at one point or another could have been traded this offseason.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of suspension Goodell hands down but either way, the Browns are prepared and they’ll be able to save a decent amount of money if he is suspended for a significant amount of time.

Stallworth to plead guilty in DUI manslaughter case

Browns’ receiver Donte’ Stallworth has agreed to a plead guilty to a DUI manslaughter charge stemming from an incident in Miami in which he struck and killed a pedestrian with his car.

Stallworth, 28, is scheduled to appear Tuesday in a Miami courtroom to enter the plea. If accepted by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Dennis Murphy, Stallworth would serve a short jail sentence for the March 14 crash, followed by lengthy probation and numerous conditions, Terry Chavez, spokeswoman for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, told The Associated Press.

Miami Beach police said Stallworth was drinking at a bar in the swank Fountainebleu hotel. He left to go to a nearby home — he owns three properties in the Miami area — and then headed out in his black 2005 Bentley on MacArthur Causeway, which links the beach to downtown Miami.

Prosecutors say Stallworth hit 59-year-old Mario Reyes, a construction crane operator who was rushing to catch a bus after finishing his shift around 7:15 a.m. Stallworth told police he flashed his lights in an attempt to warn Reyes, who was not in a crosswalk when he was struck.
“He’s shown remorse and taken responsibility from day one,” Chavez said.

Stallworth stopped after the crash and immediately told officers he had hit Reyes. Police estimated Stallworth was driving about 50 mph in a 40 mph zone.

This is a sad situation and one of those moments that could have been avoided had one thing went differently. If Stallworth hadn’t been drinking, maybe his reaction time would have been better and he could have slammed on his breaks. If Reyes hadn’t been rushing to get on the bus, maybe he would have used the crosswalk instead of running across a busy street.

Either way, it’s a tragedy. But at least the court process doesn’t look like it will be dragged out, which is good for everyone involved.

Update: Stallworth will serve 30 days in jail for pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter. It’s assumed that he will be able to continue his football career by reaching this plea agreement.

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