Lawyer David Cornwell, who isn’t a player agent but who has represented more than a few who have found trouble (or vice-versa), was part of the legal team that handled receiver Donte’ Stallworth’s 2009 criminal case in Florida.
Stallworth eventually pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter charges after the death of 59-year-old Mario Reyes.
In response to the report that the Browns will be parting ways with Stallworth, Cornwell has gone on the record with an endorsement of the 2002 first-round draft pick.
“Whether it is with the Browns or another club,” Cornwell said via e-mail, “somebody is going to get a man who is grateful, hungry and anxious to prove he understands how blessed he is to get a second chance. Donte’ has taken ownership of his tragic mistake and used the possibility of a second chance as fuel to drive him.
“Days after his initial meeting with the Commissioner, Donte’ flew back to New York unannounced because he did not feel like he effectively expressed himself when he was ‘lawyered up’ in the first meeting. The dialogue with the Commissioner has continued, with the two of them meeting again, one on one, in Miami a few weeks ago.
“With labor disputes, salary caps and all the other business issues clouding the essence of the game, Donte’ is betting that either the Browns or another team will go old school and take a chance on a guy who is hungry and has something to prove.”
Stallworth’s second chance likely will come with a one-year deal for the minimum salary. But if he truly makes the most of his opportunity, he could position himself for a nice payday in the future.
One possible landing spot could be Kansas City. G.M. Scott Pioli signed Stallworth in 2007, when Pioli was V.P. of player personnel with the Patriots. And the Browns signed Stallworth in 2008, when Chiefs defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel was the head coach in Cleveland.