Stallworth rebuilds life after manslaughter plea

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Stallworth signed a $900,000, one-year contract with the Ravens _ a significant cut in pay from what he was to make with Cleveland. Stallworth received a seven-year, $35 million deal with the Browns in 2008 and received a $4.5 million bonus the night before the crash.

And now, he’s trying to make a living playing football again.

Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was charged with murder in Atlanta in 2000 and ultimately pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice. He rebounded from his brush with the law to enjoy a stellar career, and Lewis is certain Stallworth can do it, too.

“I haven’t jumped into Donte’s world, but anytime you’ve gone through adversity you always have something to prove. All you can do is keep going forward. Don’t go backward,” Lewis said. “Looking at his heart from the outside in, he’s a man of humility. He’s a man that found himself in a tough time, but now he’s getting a second chance and I believe he’s someone who will capture that opportunity and really run with it.”

Stallworth will never be able to outrun his past, but he’s doing his best to deal with it.

“I think he understands that will always be part of any public discussion about Donte’ Stallworth. That kind of goes with the territory,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “But I also think he wants to let people see who he really is. From a football standpoint, I think Donte’ wants to have kind of career that he always planned on having. He’s always been a very good player, but I think he believes he’s capable of being a really, really special player. He is very determined to prove that.”

Stallworth’s teammates plan to help make it happen.

“They’ve been extremely supportive. No one’s mentioned it. It’s in the past,” Stallworth said. “Right now it’s all about football.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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