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Donte' Stallworth Gets Off Easy, Should Be Back This Season

Now if you or I got drunk and mowed down some guy, we'd get locked up for a long time, right?  Right.  

But if you're NFL wide reciever Donte' Stallworth, what happens when you get drunk and kill some guy?

Donte' Stallworth began serving a 30-day jail sentence Tuesday for killing a pedestrian while driving drunk in Florida, a punishment made possible by his cooperation with investigators and the fervent wish by the victim's family to put the matter behind them.

Thirty days?  Thirty freaking days?! He killed a man and he goes to jail for 30 days?!!  What am I missing here?

Stallworth, 28, also reached a confidential financial settlement with the family of 59-year-old Mario Reyes, a construction worker struck and killed early on March 14 by Stallworth, driving drunk in his black 2005 Bentley.[emphasis mine]

Aah.  That's what I'm missing.  Lovely.

Look, I know how this works out.  I wouldn't be surprised to find out that a 59-year old construction worker didn't make that much money.  The Reyes family might really be able to use that money, maybe a kid goes to college or something.  I'm sure if the family could trade all the money to bring back Mr. Reyes they would, but they can't.   So, I get that part.

What I don't get is how the State of Florida decides to let him off BECAUSE of the money.  How does that have anything to do with justice?  I don't care if the family wanted to "put the matter behind them".  What difference does that make?  Does that mean that if Reyes didn't have any family Stallworth would've gotten 4 years?!  It's amazing to me how few laws they seem to have in Florida.

Anyway, the fantasy implications of this are still up in the air.  I expect a major suspension to be handed down from the Commissioner -- at least 4 games and probably more.  That alone -- plus the uncertainty of the entire Browns' offense -- means Stallworth isn't worth a fantasy draft pick.  But, the Browns will desperately need the receiving help and if Stallworth comes back during the second half of the year, he'll probably be worth a pickup.

The most interesting aspect of this sad saga is how it applies to Mike Vick.  Stallworth kills a guy, does 30 days in jail, serves an X game suspension and then will likely be back.  Vick didn't kill any human beings, does 22 months in jail, and he serves an "indefinite" suspension?  Really? How does that work out? 

Unless the NFL slaps Stallworth with an "indefinite" suspension as well (which I highly doubt) I think Goodell won't have any choice but to reinstate Vick. I recognize the cruelty and sadism aspect of Vick's crimes, but he didn't kill another human being.   I think the NFL has to see the imbalance.  If they didn't before, the Stallworth situation has to be holding it up to their faces.

Otherwise you have to ask the NFL: How many dogs is Mr. Reyes's life worth?