League and union officials began investigating a report that unrestricted free agent wide receiver Donte' Stallworth is in the NFL's substance-abuse program, sources from both parties told ESPN.com on Monday.
And Stallworth, who played last season in Philadelphia after being acquired from the New Orleans Saints in a trade, began checking out potential new employers.
Citing unnamed sources, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday that Stallworth is a participant in the league program, and that he could be subject to suspension if he suffered a repeat violation of its conditions. The newspaper also reported that a breach of the program's confidentiality agreement can warrant a league fine, and NFL and NFL Players Association officials began to seek out possible sources for the leak on Monday.
Despite the report, and the suggestion that his status could damage his value as a free agent, Stallworth apparently has options for the 2007 season.
On Monday, the Eagles made a formal contract offer to Stallworth in an effort to re-sign him. Terms of the offer were not known.
And ESPN.com has learned that Stallworth was set to meet Monday night with New England Patriots officials and has a visit scheduled with the Tennessee Titans. A third, unknown franchise also inquired about the five-year veteran.
The sudden interest does represent an upswing for Stallworth, who garnered little notice in the opening weekend of free agency. Even with multiple suitors, Stallworth could end up signing a short-term contract that would permit him to re-establish himself and then go back into the free-agent market in a year or two.
Stallworth, 28, had 38 catches for 725 yards and five touchdowns for the Eagles in 2006. A first-round choice of the Saints in the 2002 draft, he has 233 career receptions for 3,516 yards and 28 touchdowns in 68 games, including 44 starts.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.