March 17, 2013

NFL Notebook: Stallworth in balloon crash

The Associated Press

MIAMI - NFL free agent Donte Stallworth was hospitalized Saturday with serious burns after the hot air balloon carrying him and two other people crashed into power lines above South Florida, his agent said.

Quintin Demps, Donte' Stallworth
click image to enlarge

Donte Stallworth, a two-time Patriot, sustained serious burns Saturday when the hot air balloon carrying him and two others crashed into power lines in Florida.

The Associated Press

The 10-year NFL veteran won't suffer any permanent damage from the accident in Homestead, said Drew Rosenhaus, Stallworth's agent.

"He's going to be OK. He has some burns, but he's going to be fine," Rosenhaus said. "He will be able to continue his NFL career. The injuries are not to the extent they will jeopardize his career."

Rosenhaus said one of the passengers was Stallworth's girlfriend, but he would not say whether she was hurt.

The basket carrying three hot air balloon passengers crashed into the power lines while airborne, according to Miami-Dade Police spokesman Roy Rutland.

Two passengers were injured and transported to a trauma center, Rutland said. A third passenger in the basket was not injured.

Rutland referred additional questions to the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB had no immediate information about the crash.

Stallworth played in one game last season for the New England Patriots, then went on injured reserve with an ankle injury. He has 35 career touchdown catches.

He was suspended for the 2009 season after a car he was driving struck and killed a pedestrian in South Florida that March. He spent 24 days in jail for a DUI manslaughter conviction.

PATRIOTS: New England released receiver Brandon Lloyd, signed free-agent safety Adrian Wilson and re-signed defensive backs Aqib Talib and Kyle Arrington, the team announced Saturday.

Wilson is a five-time Pro Bowl selection who holds the NFL record for most sacks in a season by a defensive back, eight, and is the sixth player in NFL history to record 25 sacks and 25 interceptions in his career.

Arrington tied for the NFL lead in 2011 with seven interceptions.

Talib was acquired by New England in a trade with Tampa Bay on Nov. 1 for a 2013 fourth-round draft pick. He started in five of six games for New England after the trade and had 19 tackles and an interception that he returned 59 yards for a touchdown.

Lloyd had 74 receptions for 911 yards and four touchdowns last season for New England, with 12 receptions for 102 yards and one touchdown in two playoff games.

JETS: Star cornerback Darrelle Revis, the subject of trade rumors, has earned a $1 million roster bonus as a result of a clause in his contract.

According to the clause, the bonus kicked in on Saturday since Revis remains on the Jets' roster -- not traded or cut -- at the end of the business day. There has been intense speculation during the past several weeks that the Jets will try to trade their best player, who is recovering from a torn knee ligament.

Some believed that move could come by Saturday so the Jets could avoid the clause, but Revis will receive the bonus later in the year and it counts on New York's salary cap -- regardless of whether he remains with the team.

GIANTS: Former Cowboys linebacker Dan Connor signed as a free agent.

The Giants announced the signing of the former Penn State product Saturday without disclosing details.

Connor can play both inside and outside, so his signing casts some doubt on whether New York will bring back middle linebacker Chase Blackburn, who is a free agent.

Connor started five games at middle linebacker for Dallas last season, making 56 tackles. He also started three games at weak-side linebacker. He played his first four seasons with the Carolina Panthers.

49ERS: San Francisco signed safety Craig Dahl to a three-year contract, finding a replacement in the secondary after Dashon Goldson received a five-year deal from Tampa Bay.

The 27-year-old Dahl spent the past four seasons with the St. Louis Rams and had 78 tackles and an interception in 2012.

RAVENS: Former Cowboys defensive end Marcus Spears agreed to a two-year contract, the team announced late Friday.

Spears is expected to take a physical and sign the deal within the next few days.

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