Perhaps anticipating that Donte Stallworth might not be available in 2009 because of the legal hurdles facing him, the Cleveland Browns signed unrestricted free agent wide receiver Mike Furrey on Tuesday evening.
Furrey, who turns 32 later this month, is the second free-agent wide receiver to join the Browns this spring. Veteran David Patten signed earlier with the team. Cleveland also used a pair of draft picks on wide receivers, Brian Robiskie of Ohio State and Georgia's Tim Massaquoi, both selected in the second round.
Stallworth faces DUI manslaughter charges in Florida from a March 14 incident in which Mario Reyes was killed. There were also reports that the Browns were attempting to trade wide receiver Braylon Edwards before the draft. It is not known if those attempts have continued since the draft.
His best seasons clearly were in 2006 and 2007. In 2006, he caught 98 passes for 1,088 yards and six touchdowns, all career highs. The following year, Furrey had 61 receptions for 664 yards and one touchdown. Because of injuries, he played in only nine games in 2008, and started just twice, and had 18 receptions for 181 yards and no touchdowns.
A former Northern Iowa star, Furrey was originally signed by the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2000. He played for the Las Vegas Outlaws in 2001, the only season of the XFL's existence. In 2002 and 2003, Furrey played for the New York Dragons in the Arena Football League. Because he played both wide receiver and defensive back in the AFL, there was some question about Furrey's best position when he finally made it to the NFL.
Furrey blossomed under then-offensive coordinator Mike Martz with the Lions. He is largely regarded as a possession-type receiver who works the middle of the field very well.
Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.