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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced today that former Patriot Donte’ Stallworthwill be reinstated in the NFL after the Super Bowl on Sunday. This comes after Stallworth spent 24 days in jail for DUI manslaughter and he was suspended without pay this past August. The accident happened last March in South Florida and it was questioned whether or not he would ever return to the NFL but now we know he will.
Goodell said that after speaking with Stallworth he could tell that the wide receiver has changed and wants to play in the NFL again. I guess that’s good enough for the commissioner. Any other person would’ve actually fulfilled a much longer sentence in jail for DUI manslaughter but that’s just the way things go — 24 days, that’s all for Stallworth.
Now that he will be back in the league, it’s time to bring up the question: should the Patriots trade for him? Although it’s hard not to look past what he did off the field, it’s also hard to miss what he did in his only season with the Pats in 2007. He is currently still signed on with the Cleveland Browns for the next five years, but who’s to say they still want him? The Patriots could still look at him and bring him in they feel he has changed as well.
He made Randy Moss and Wes Welker better wide receivers and Tom Bradya better quarterback. He was consider to be a threat, even though he quickly became the third receiver behind Moss and then Welker. He’s fast and he demands coverage, which really allowed for both Moss and Welker to be open for Brady. This past season the Pats didn’t have that third receiver to do that (Joey Galloway tried and failed) and it really showed in a lot of the games when they weren’t able score at will.
If the Pats were to re-sign Stallworth the move would be scrutinized but he could very well be the receiver that we need. We had one of the best offenses in the history of the league in 2007 and I give him (partial) credit for that.
Now I know that he didn’t put up amazing stats, he came in and did what he was supposed to and put up good stats. He had 697 yards off of 46 receptions with three touchdowns. If you give Julian Edelman the third receiver spot this season (there really was no consisent third receiver) based off his stats, he wasn’t even close to Stallworth. He brought in 359 yards off of 37 receptions with one touchdown. Of course Edelman only played 11 games and Stallworth played 16, but would Edelman really have had a better season if he played every game? That’s debatable.
Stallworth is a deep threat to run routes opposite Moss and could very well change his image if successful in New England again. I know the Patriots already tried him out, and even signed him to a six-year deal full with incentives but cut him after his only season in New England. I am not sure why they cut him but it eventually hurt the team and they could certainly use his talent and experience next season.
The Browns are going through a lot of changes and it appears Eric Mangini and crew don’t even know what they are doing. So why would they want to keep a player who just off a DUI sentence? Hopefully they won’t and they’ll ship him here. If not, then the Pats will need a player just like Stallworth in order to compete next season, even if Welker comes back healthy.