Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday suspended Cleveland Browns receiver Donte' Stallworth for the entire 2009 season, which likely signals the end of Stallworth's tenure in Cleveland.
Stallworth received the year-long penalty for violating both the NFL's personal conduct and substance abuse policies when he struck and killed 59-year-old Mario Reyes with his vehicle in March. He will be reinstated in 2010 but the Browns are expected to cut ties with Stallworth well before then.
Here is an excerpt from the letter Goodell wrote to Stallworth explaining his suspension:
"In my view, the essential facts are that you had alcohol in your system well above the legal limit, made a conscious decision to drive, and struck and killed a man. As you recognize, this conduct and the loss of life has caused serious damage to the NFL and NFL players generally."
The new regime in Cleveland, led by Eric Mangini, is a strict one. Mangini doesn't tolerate mental errors on the practice field, let alone poor judgment off the field.
Although the Browns did the right thing by displaying patience and letting the NFL and the legal system play out, all of the facts are now in and it's time for the organization to act.
Expect the Browns to move forward without Stallworth and put this entire situation behind them.