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Chris Richardson
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Chris Richardson

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Wait and see


Welcome back, Donte' Stallworth. I can't say you were missed, exactly, but welcome back, nonetheless. After serving a year-long suspension from NFL activity, Roger Goodell reopened the doors and after working out for a few teams, Stallworth was signed by the Baltimore Ravens. Thankfully, there hasn't be a lot of outcry concerning Stallworth's return; although, the question about whether or not he helps the Ravens has been asked.

Take a quick look at Stallworth's career statistics and you'll find a good, but not great, NFL wide receiver. If, however, Stallworth is able to shake off a year's worth of rust, Joe Flacco should have another target to distribute the ball to. It should be noted, however, that even if Stallworth does return to form, the Ravens will still be lacking a true number one receiver. Granted, Derrick Mason did have over 1,000 yards receiving, coupled with seven touchdowns, last season, but then again, Mason will be 36 years old when next season starts. Not exactly the prime age for big-time NFL receiver.

With all of that in mind, if the Ravens don't go after receivers like Dez Bryant or Golden Tate in the upcoming NFL Draft, I'll be shocked.

Concerning Stallworth's signing, it's pretty simple, really. If he can recapture the form he had in New Orleans during the 2005-06 season (70 catches, seven touchdowns), then yes, he'll help. However, if the Ravens want to ensure Stallworth's success, they need to put more talent around him -- namely, a number one receiver.

The social ramifications concerning Stallworth's signing are minimal; especially when you consider two things: The love Baltimore has for Ray Lewis and the distinct lack of outcry when noted dog owner, Michael Vick, returned. While the situation surrounding Lewis' trial is dubious, the fact of the matter is, he did plead guilty to an obstruction of justice charge in a case where two people were stabbed to death. Nevertheless, Lewis is loved in Baltimore, almost unconditionally. With that in mind, I have little doubt Stallworth will be accepted with open arms by Ravens fans.

Of course, that love could wear out really quickly if Stallworth doesn't produce on the field -- and considering the fact he's never been a dominant receiver, that should be a very real concern. However, if the Ravens continue to improve their receivers in the off-season, Stallworth could be a key component that Flacco exploits on a weekly basis. For now, however, the signing merely has me in a "wait and see" mode.

The rest is on Stallworth and his ability to perform on the field.

By Chris Richardson  |  February 18, 2010; 11:33 AM ET  | Category:  Baltimore Ravens , Crime , Donte Stallworth Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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