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Cleveland Browns

Workout sold Ravens on Stallworth

By Marla Ridenour Published: February 28, 2010

Desperately seeking receivers, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Donte' Stallworth didn't have any ''magic words'' that convinced them to sign him after a year's suspension from the NFL.

Harbaugh said at the NFL Scouting Combine that it was Stallworth's dazzling workout that convinced the Ravens to give him a chance. According to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, Stallworth ran a 4.4 40-yard dash, the fastest time ever recorded on Baltimore's notoriously slow SportGrass surface.

Stallworth, 29, and with his fifth NFL team in eight years, was suspended by the league after pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter
for a March, 2009 accident in Miami Beach in which he killed pedestrian Mario Reyes. The Browns released Stallworth the same day he was reinstated by commissioner Roger Goodell after the Super Bowl.

''It wasn’t any magic words. We just had a conversation,'' Harbaugh said. ''I think the thing that convinced us more than any other was the workout. He put together a great workout and we put him through a grueling workout.

''He has been working to get in great shape. He caught the ball well. He’s strong. He seems like he’s very healthy. We’re going to give him an
opportunity to help our football team.''

With 296 catches in seven years, Stallworth reportedly signed a one-year contract for $900,000, with an additional $300,000 possible in incentives. Harbaugh coached for the Philadelphia Eagles when Stallworth played there in 2006.

''I don’t think we had any concerns other than the concerns that
would be obvious,'' Harbaugh said. ''It’s really how he’s going to deal with this thing. He’s a first-class individual, I think. We had him in Philadelphia. We’ve got some other coaches that have had experiences with him. He’s a good person.

''He made a huge mistake. He’s very remorseful. I think
it’s something that he deals with every single day. He’s doing everything he can to not just move past it, but deal with it. He’s been involved with the (Reyes) family down there.''

Harbaugh believes Stallworth will be motivated to save his career.

''Donte' Stallworth has a lot at stake right now in his career, in his life,'' Harbaugh said. ''So, we think we’ve got a highly motivated guy who’s a good person at heart. I would be surprised if he doesn’t give us everything he’s got to be the best football player he can be.''


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