The League

Doug Farrar

Doug Farrar

A staff writer

Right place for new start


The obvious difficulty people will have with Donte' Stallworth is the fact that he served 24 days of a 30-day sentence for killing a man while under the influence of alcohol. And as ludicrous as that sentence was, there's no point in retroactively punishing Stallworth through other means. The NFL took a season from him, and I don't know how much more the league could reasonably do. And with his reinstatement, here we are, trying to take the punishment aside and dealing with the reality.

As it was with Michael Vick and Pacman Jones, it will be worth looking as much at what Stallworth does off the field. Vick hasn't been as much of an advocate for animal rights and protection as I hoped he would be, but he's been a model citizen by all accounts. The question is whether he can still be a factor in the pro game -- results were inconclusive at best in his first (and possibly last) year with the Eagles. Jones was the cautionary tale. He was a total bust in his return with the Cowboys, talked his way out of the CFL, and recently disappointed in a tryout with the Cincinnati Bengals. He's probably done in this league, and he has nobody to blame but himself.

Stallworth is in a better situation in Baltimore. He's surrounded by strong team leaders, a very solid front office and coaching staff, and an effective run-first offense in need of better receivers. He's not a scheme misfit, like Vick has been in Philly. The only question is whether he's got anything left in the tank, as Pacman quickly proved that he didn't in Dallas. Given Ozzie Newsome's track record, I'll give the Ravens the benefit of the doubt and assume that the Stallworth signing will help the Ravens get to the next level.

By Doug Farrar  |  February 18, 2010; 8:12 AM ET  | Category:  Baltimore Ravens , Cleveland Browns , Donte Stallworth Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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