Cleveland Brown Release Donte’ Stallworth
Donte’ Stallworth will get the chance to resurrect his NFL career, but it won’t happen in Cleveland.
The Browns released the troubled wide receiver on Monday, wasting little time after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday that Stallworth would be reinstated following the Super Bowl.
Stallworth was suspended for the 2009 season by Goodell after he pleaded guilty to killing a pedestrian while driving drunk in Florida. He spent 24 days in jail.
“I think he’s in a better place than he was,” Goodell said on Friday, adding that he met with Stallworth about a month ago. “I think he recognizes what he did and the horrific nature and the unfortunate outcome, and I think he’s prepared himself to get back in and play.”
Stallworth, 29, spent one season with the Browns, catching 17 passes for 170 yards and one touchdown in 2008 while battling injuries. A college star at Tennessee, he has also played with New England, Philadelphia and New Orleans since the Saints drafted him in the first round in 2002.
Browns coach Eric Mangini dodged questions about Stallworth’s future with the team throughout the season. Since then, Mike Holmgren took over as president of the Browns. The team released a one sentence statement on Monday stating Stallworth’s contract had been terminated.
Stallworth struck 59-year-old crane operator Mario Reyes the morning of March 14 in Miami. He pleaded guilty June 16 to DUI manslaughter, a second-degree felony, and was suspended by Goodell two days later.
“I will carry the burden of Mr. Reyes’ death for the rest of my life,” Stallworth said in a statement at the time. “I urge NFL fans not to judge NFL players or me based on my tragic lapse in judgment. I am a good person who did a bad thing. I will use the period of my suspension to reflect, fulfill my obligations, and use this experience to make a positive impact on the lives of those who look up to NFL players.”
Stallworth signed a seven-year, $35 million contract with Cleveland in 2008 and received a $4.5 million bonus the night before the crash.