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Donte' Stallworth - The Newest Brown
Donte' Stallworth - The Newest Brown
For the third straight season under GM Phil Savage, the Browns have struck early and often during the opening weekend of free agency. After dealing for defensive linemen Corey Williams and Shaun Rogers yesterday, wide receiver Donte' Stallworth today agreed to terms on a five year, 35 million dollar contract with the team. I take a look at the signing, Stallworth, and his alter ego "Nicco" in our latest Browns update.
For the third straight season under GM Phil Savage, the Browns have struck early and often during the opening weekend of free agency. After dealing for defensive linemen Corey Williams and Shaun Rogers yesterday, wide receiver Donte' Stallworth today agreed to terms on a contract with the team.
According to Pro Football Talk
, the deal is for seven years and 35 million dollars, with 10 million of it guaranteed.
Stallworth, one of the top receivers available in free agency, caught 46 passes for 697 yards and three touchdowns as the third wideout in the New England Patriots' record setting offense this past season. He signed a six year, 30 million dollar deal with New England last season that was incentive laden and included an opt out option for the team after one season, which the Patriots chose to exercise, making Donte' a free agent. A six year veteran of the league, Stallworth spent the 2006 season in Philadelphia after playing his first four seasons for the New Orleans Saints after they made him the 13th overall selection of the 2002 draft out of the University of Tennessee. Donte's best season was in 2005, when he caught 70 passes for 945 yards and seven scores.
Already one of the most prolific offenses in football last season, the signing of Stallworth gives the Browns a lethal stable of pass catching options for Derek Anderson, who (according to Phil Savage) will once again be the Browns signal caller next season. Stallworth will presumably start opposite Braylon Edwards at wideout, and along with Kellen Winslow Jr., give the team one of the most fearsome trios of starting receivers in all of football. Joe Jurevicius also returns next season, and will most likely act as the third wideout and slot receiver in the wake of this signing.
At 6'0 and 200 lbs. with above average speed and hands, most analysts would agree that Stallworth has been a bit of a disappointment so far in his career. He's been hampered by injuries, missing parts of three different seasons because of hamstring injuries, and in 2006, the Philadelphia Enquirer reported that Stallworth was part of the league's substance abuse program. He was never suspended, but assuming the reports were accurate, another positive test would result in a four game suspension for the enigmatic pass catcher.
A quick Google on Stallworth also revealed one of the stranger stories I've seen reported on a professional athlete. By his own admission,
Stallworth has an alter ego named "Nicco"
, who he has described as an extra terrestrial being that resides on Mars when the receiver is off the field.
Eccentricity and hamstring issues aside, there is absolutely no question that Stallworth is a very talented player that still has great upside potential despite failing to live up to his lofty draft status thus far in his career. His signing gives the Browns three big talented wideouts and also helps address the lack of depth the team had at the receiver position.
Stay tuned to The Cleveland Fan for all the latest as the Browns continue to navigate their way through free agency. Also,
come on in and join the discussion of this signing and others in our quickly growing forum community.
Feb 29, 2008 7:00 PM
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