This is a tough case, because Stallworth has no history of ever getting in trouble and always seemed to be a bright, respectful, soft-spoken guy — definitely not your typical jock. He didn't mislead investigators and apparently took responsibility for the accident fairly early on in the process; he also seemed to be genuinely devastated by the whole thing. All these factors, combined with a settlement reported to be around $5 million, resulted in the state's decision to give him a soft touch in the sentencing process and put him back on the road to playing pro football.
That end of the deal has been held up, however, as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Stallworth indefinitely this past week. Goodell is probably using the Leonard Little case as a guideline here — the St. Louis defensive end got just eight games for vehicular manslaughter in 1999, a light punishment that has haunted the league ever since. Look for Stallworth to sit out at least a year before being allowed back on the field, and give him 88 points, continuing the staggering run of ex-Patriots on our leader board.
Matt Taibbi can be reached email@example.com.
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