Stallworth has 'a lot of love' for Patriots

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Stallworth has 'a lot of love' for Patriots

FOXBORO -- Donte' Stallworth was in Miami on Sunday. He witnessed the Patriots' 23-16 win over the Dolphins in person.

Only, he wasn't on the sidelines.

"I was actually there," said Stallworth as he stood in front of his Patriots locker on Wednesday. "I went, since I live in Miami, and I hadn't been to any games in a while. I had some friends that were going. I usually like to watch games on television, you can see it better. But I decided to go since I hadn't been to any games. Plus it was the Patriots playing, and I've got friends on both teams."

The Patriots will next be playing on Monday night, against the 11-1 Houston Texans. Stallworth will also be at that game. Only this time, he won't just be a fan.

Stallworth re-signed with New England earlier in the week, after the team placed wide receiver Julian Edelman on injured reserve because of a broken foot. Stallworth was released in training camp, making this his third stint with the Patriots, after spending an entire season in New England in 2007.

He admitted after Wednesday's practice that his familiarity with the Patriots' offense in the past has allowed him to return to the NFL this late into the season.

He worked out for a couple of other teams in the last 13 weeks, but he didn't get the call until now.

"I think the Patriots knew what kind of shape I was in," said Stallworth on Wednesday. "I made sure that I had been training hard throughout the whole season, just in case."

Stallworth lives in Miami, where he continued to work out and catch passes from former FIU quarterback Wes Carroll, after being cut from the Pats in training camp.

"We had a quarterback able to get us the ball and be able to work on our routes and stuff, full speed," said Stallworth.

The veteran wide receiver expressed his disappointment with being cut from the team so early in the season. But he got over it, and feels he is well prepared for another shot in New England.

"Honestly, I mean, I was disappointed, but I've been in this league long enough to understand how it works," said Stallworth. "It's just like after a game. When you lose a game and you're upset about it that night, but you come to the next game prepared. And that's what I did, although, it took me a little more than a night. It took a few days. But after that I just tried to get back to where I live in Miami and get back with my trainer, and just continue to work and hope for an opportunity."

Stallworth got the call on Monday. And he's already bought back into the Patriot Way.

"I have a lot of love for this organization, and just everything about the New England Patriots," he said on Wednesday. "I have a lot of friends on this team. So, yeah, to say I was excited is probably an accurate assessment.

"One of Bill Belichick's favorite motto's is just, 'Do your job.' And If I do my job, then I don't have anything else to worry about after that."

Haggerty: Bruins would be foolish to deal away Carlo right now

Haggerty: Bruins would be foolish to deal away Carlo right now

There’s been smoke for weeks signaling trade talks between the Boston Bruins and the Colorado Avalanche, and things are reportedly heating up with the Bruins potentially reaching a tipping point with their subpar play on the ice. According to Bleacher Report columnist Adrian Dater, things may be progressing between the two teams because the Bruins are beginning to entertain the idea of trading away 20-year-old top pairing rookie defenseman Brandon Carlo.

Bruins Director of Player Personnel John Ferguson Jrwas expected to be out in Colorado scouting the Avalanche/Blackhawks game on Tuesday night, and perhaps getting a long look at players like Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene and Tyson Barrie among others.

The expectation is that 24-year-old Landeskog is in the middle of these trade discussions, and that he would be one of the players targeted by a Bruins team that could use more size on the wing, and more players that can put the puck in the net. Certainly Landeskog has done that in his brief NHL career after being a No. 2 overall pick, and has four 20-goal seasons on his resume prior to a disappointing, injury-plagued current season in Colorado.

The word around the league was that talks fizzled between the Bruins and Avs previously when Joe Sakic asked about the availability of the Colorado Springs native Carlo, and those discussions hit the same crunching roadblock that Winnipeg did in discussions with Boston about Jacob Trouba.

Perhaps that has changed in the last 24 hours after Cam Neely and Don Sweeney watched their Bruins completely no-show against the worst team in the Eastern Conference, the New York Islanders, on Monday afternoon. Now one would expect that Bruins management is getting desperate feeling that a third “Did Not Qualify” for the Stanley Cup playoffs could be in their future if they don’t make a bold, swift move to shake up their dazed hockey club.

But let’s not pull any punches here. The entire Bruins management group should be fired on the spot if they trade a 20-year-old, top pairing shutdown defenseman on an entry level contract like Carlo unless they are getting a bona fide superstar in return. Carlo, Charlie McAvoy and David Pastrnak should all be young, untouchable assets for a Bruins organization that is years away from legitimately holding a chance at a Stanley Cup.

Landeskog is not a bona fide superstar. He’s a good player that’s topped out at 26 goals and 65 points in the NHL, but he’s also the Captain on a horrendous, underachieving Avalanche team over the last three years.

If the price were right for Landeskog it would make all the sense in the world for the Bruins to deal him, but it’s a giant honking red flag that Colorado is looking to unload a player like him that’s signed for a reasonable $5.5 million price tag over the next four seasons. Teams don’t trade young players like that with term unless there’s more to the story, and that’s something the Bruins would do well to consider before giving up a player that could be a top-4 shutdown defenseman in Boston for the next 10 years.

Teams like the Bruins that are in reloading mode also shouldn’t be trading 20-year-old players for 24-year-old players that have already cashed in on their second contract. That’s exactly how the Bruins can get right back into salary cap trouble, and do it with a team that’s producing far less than the Peter Chiarelli groups that were at least still making the playoffs.  

Certainly the Bruins have other young D-men like Charlie McAvoy, Jakub Zboril and Jeremy Lauzon coming down the pipeline, but none of those defensemen are in the mold of a true shutdown D like the 6-foot-5 Carlo. With Zdeno Chara in the final few years of his career with the Black and Gold, the B’s are going to need Carlo to slide into that defensive stopper role given his size, strength, wing span and willingness to do the dirty work the D-zone.

That goes beyond the simple fact that rebuilding the back end with ALL of those young stud D-men is the best way to actually build the Bruins back up into a legitimate Eastern Conference power. 

It would be a giant mistake for the Bruins to ship away a player like Carlo with the hope Landeskog can put Boston over the hump for the playoffs this season, and perhaps ease some of the intense pressure currently weighing on Sweeney and Neely. That kind of desperate move smacks of doing it for all of the wrong reasons, and that’s one way to ensure that the Bruins will never escape the web of mediocrity that they’re currently caught in.