Shanahan intends to sign Donte Stallworth


Donte Stallworth hauls in a game-tying touchdown pass over Dallas Cowboys cornerback Alan Ball at FedEx field in Nov. 2011. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said veteran wide receiver Donte Stallworth looked impressive in his first of a two-day tryout with the team. Stallworth on Wednesday will return for another practice as the Redskins continue their mandatory minicamp, and Shanahan said that the team intends to sign him within the next few days.

Stallworth played 11 games for the Redskins in 2011 and then signed with New England last offseason. The 10-year veteran played one game for the Patriots before suffering an ankle injury, which forced him out of the rest of the year.

Back in March, Stallworth was injured in a hot-air balloon accident, suffering burns to his body when the balloon he and his girlfriend rode in collided with power lines. Now fully healed from those injuries and the ankle injury, Stallworth hopes to resume his NFL career.

Wearing a No. 14 jersey with no name on the back, Stallworth displayed good speed, cutting and catching ability. Stallworth said that despite not playing in Washington’s system since 2011, he still remembered a number of the plays, and believed hit fit in well.

“It was good being back out here – not only being back out here, playing football and running around, but also, it’s a great organization, great fan base and the city and area’s a good area to be in,” Stallworth said. “It’s bittersweet because it’s been a long road the last year and a half, or half-year, whatever it was. But I’m just grateful to be back out here, and for the opportunity and I’ll just try to make the most of it. … I have a lot of rust to work off and kinks to work out, but I’ll just take it one day at a time and hopefully, I leave here with a contract and will be ready for training camp.”

Stallworth in 2011 recorded 22 catches for 309 yards and two touchdowns. The Redskins valued his ability and experience, but weren’t able to retain his services the following offseason, Shanahan revealed Tuesday.

The coach hopes that their efforts are successful this time around.

“I didn’t want to lose Donte a year ago,” Shanahan said. “I did call him up and told him I thought he made a mistake, giving him a hard time when he signed. … I thought he was better being with us, just because I liked what he did and what he brought to the table. When it didn’t work out for him, this year I was hoping we could get him back. He had that accident and went through, obviously a tough time there. But I was happy to see him out there today. I thought he made a couple plays today and looked very good. Hopefully we get the chance to sign him over the next couple days.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag.

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Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
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Keith McMillan · June 11, 2013

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