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WR Stallworth deals with tragedy 'every day'

| Friday, April 2, 2010

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Donte' Stallworth held a news conference Thursday and talked openly about the death of Miami construction worker Mario Reyes, who he struck and killed Reyes while driving under the influence of alcohol.

"Now that I'm back playing, it's not in the back of my mind," Stallworth said at the Ravens training facility. "It's something I deal with every day, waking up in the morning and going to sleep at night. It's a tough situation for everyone involved. .. If I could go back and take that night over, I would. ... I'm not a bad person. That's now how my mom raised me."

Stallworth pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter last year and served 24 days in jail. He was suspended for all of last season by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

He hasn't played football since the 2008 season with the Cleveland Browns.

Stallworth was reinstated by Goodell on Feb. 8 and signed to a one-year deal by Baltimore about eight days later after a tryout where he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.40 seconds. He also worked out for the Detroit Lions.

His familiarity with the Ravens' coaching staff made a difference. Stallworth played for Baltimore receivers coach Jim Hostler when he was with the New Orleans Saints and coach John Harbaugh with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Hostler supports the former first-round draft pick.

"He's an outstanding person," Hostler said. "He's got a great heart, you'll feel it right away."

Stallworth said that he has learned from the tragedy.

"I've become a better decision-maker," Stallworth said. "Making one bad decision can snowball into a whole terrible incident. One incident doesn't define a person at all. I could've used better judgment and I didn't."

Stallworth registered a blood-alcohol level of .126 after the crash, way above the .08 limit in Florida.

He has signed a seven-year, $35 million contract with the Browns and received a $4.5 million roster the night before the tragedy.

Stalwart said he doesn't speak with Reyes' family other than through his lawyers.

He said he has apologized to them and is extremely remorseful about what happened.

"My main focus was to make sure that the Reyes family knew that I was very apologetic about what happened," Stallworth said. "I jut wanted to let them know that if I could go back and take that night over, I would."

With his license revoked as part of his jail sentence, Stallworth said he has arranged for transportation to and from work.

Browns' Rogers arrested for loaded gun in luggage

Cleveland Browns nose tackle Shaun Rogers was arrested Thursday at Hopkins International Airport in Cleveland for carrying a loaded gun in his carry-on luggage.

Rogers, who had been at the team's suburban training facility in recent days, was stopped at a security checkpoint when officials spotted a loaded .45-caliber hand gun in his carry-on luggage, police said in a statement. He was arrested at 12:15 p.m. without incident and was booked for carrying a concealed weapon, a third-degree felony.

No charges have been filed at this time, police said.

Under Ohio law, a third-degree felony carries a penalty of probation to five years in prison.

It's not yet known what Rogers, who lives in Houston during the offseason, told officials about the gun or if he was traveling alone.

Browns president Mike Holmgren issued a statement saying the team was aware of Rogers' arrest.

"We will continue to gather additional information, and until the legal process has taken its course, we will reserve any further comment," the statement said.

A message seeking comment was left with Rogers' agent, Kennard McGuire.

Rogers, a three-time Pro Bowler who has played two seasons with the Browns, missed Cleveland's final five games last season after breaking his leg Nov. 29 against Cincinnati.

Bears release Brown

The Chicago Bears released veteran defensive end Alex Brown.

The 31-year-old Brown, who had 483 tackles, 43 1/2 sacks, five interceptions, 16 forced fumbled and 11 fumble recoveries during his stint in Chicago, was slated to make $5 million this season.

Jets' Sanchez will be ready

New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez says he's unable to run on his surgically repaired left knee six weeks after the procedure but will "definitely" be ready to take the field when training camp begins in July.

Sanchez had surgery to repair the patella ligament Feb. 17.

Jaguars bring back Hayward

Defensive end Reggie Hayward signed a one-year contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Hayward, who missed most of last year because of a broken leg, will make a little more than the veteran minimum of $850,000.

Giants sign Feagles

Punter Jeff Feagles, 44, agreed to a one-year deal with the New York Giants and will compete for the job with former Australian rules football player Jy Bond.

The Giants also made two other moves, signing free agent safety Deon Grant and rescinding their tender to restricted free agent safety C.C. Brown.

Seahawks' Hill gets probation

Seattle Seahawks starting linebacker Leroy Hill has received 12 months of probation in Georgia after pleading guilty to a charge of marijuana possession stemming from a January 2009 traffic stop in suburban Atlanta.

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