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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

March Arrest Part of Reason Saints Unloaded Stallworth? 

AP Photo/Bill FeigThe Eagles "got a hell of deal'' in trading for receiver Donte Stallworth, says ex-teammate and friend Joe Horn. "He is a playmaker and his ability is undeniable," said Eagles d-lineman Darren Howard, who played with Stallworth on the Saints and in college. "Stallworth can flat-out fly," says Ron Jaworski. So would did the Saints let a deep threat go for so little? One factor might be character issues hardly mentioned by these first reports:

In March, Stallworth was jailed in Miami Beach, and his Bentley was towed, after he was charged with "resisting arrest without violence," according to newspaper reports. After being pulled over for expired tags and giving an officer his driver's license, Stallworth allegedly tried to drive off. The report is quoted as saying: "Defendant then stated this was going to cost us a lot of money, and that he would have our jobs. Defendant further stated he knew the chief of police, and that we would be hearing from his lawyer." (Wonder if by "lawyer," Stallworth meant his agent, Drew Rosenhaus.) Could find no word on the case's final outcome.

The Saints, who reportedly tried to deal Stallworth during the draft, were apparently also concerned about erratic performances, nagging injuries and lateness for meetings. According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune: "He would alternate between 140-yard receiving games and zero-catch games, sometimes struggling with dropped balls and/or other mental errors. ... He was chastised on occasion by both coaching staffs for arriving late for meetings. ... The biggest setback, however, came when he missed almost the entire offseason program this year because of arthroscopic shoulder surgery, then missed part of training camp with a minor groin injury. He was unable to adjust quickly enough to Payton's new offense to solidify his place in the starting lineup. "

The article also states, however: "He was not a bad character guy -- in fact, he was one of the most well-liked teammates in the locker room."

"He knows in his heart why he got traded," Horn told the New Orleans paper. "So he has to take that with him and take it to Philadelphia and be a better person, be a better receiver, be better than he was last year." His advice to Stallworth: Tell McNabb "you're going to work. You have to get there and learn that playbook and make plays and let Donovan and Coach Reid know that you're there to take care of business."


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