Monday, August 28, 2006

Eagles Score Big By Acquiring Stallworth

Wide receiver Donte' Stallworth may not be a savior, but he's just what the Eagles offense needed and the price wasn't too steep.
The Birds acquired Stallworth from the New Orleans Saints for reserve linebacker Mark Simoneau and a conditional fourth round pick in 2007. He will earn a base salary of $1.92 million this season, which isn't too much to pay for somebody who knows the way to the end zone.
Stallworth had 70 receptions for 945 yards and seven TDs last year. He has 23 career touchdown receptions in four seasons.
Known for being on the brittle side his first two years, the 25-year-old Stallworth didn't miss a game in each of the previous two seasons.
The Saints were trying to unload Stallworth, thinking correctly that they wouldn't be able to resign him.
If anybody has been watching, the Eagles receivers have been less than dazzling this preseason. Reggie Brown is miscast as a No. 1 receiver and now he may be 1-A along with Stallworth.
The fact that he's going from a struggling Saints team to an Eagles squad that has realistic postsason ambitions, will no doubt boost Stallworth's morale and the Eagles' receiving numbers.
This preseason it was apparent that the Eagles receivers were having trouble getting open against good defenses, let alone catching the ball.
Now the Eagles don't have to base their hopes on a speed threat Todd Pinkston, who hasn't been very fast due to his two sore Achilles.
Pinkston may still be a factor in the offense, but at least the Eagles don't have to depend on him.
Stallworth is known for his speed, but Eagles defensive lineman Darren Howard, who spent the past six seasons in New Orleans, says he offers more.
"He does everything," Howard said. "He is tough over the middle."
And that's not all.
"I've seen him take slants and take big hits and hold on to the ball," Howard said. "I've seen him run past people. He runs crisp routes."
What recent Eagle receiver other than the dearly departed troublemaker T.O., has anybody been able to say that about?
Stallworth has yet to achieve Pro Bowl status, but on this team that isn't a requirement. The fact that he gives Donovan McNabb a legitimate weapon is enough.
If Stallworth can learn the offense quickly, this should be a significant move, one that makes the Eagles postseason aspirations much more realistic.