Second in a series looking at each of the Patriots pending free agents:
Name: Donte Stallworth
Position: Wide receiver
2012 Season: After being cut by the Patriots at the end of training camp, Stallworth re-signed with the team following injuries to Deion Branch and Julian Edelman. In his first game with the team, he recorded a 63 yard touchdown reception. Unfortunately, that would be the only game he would play in 2012, as he landed on injured reserve with an ankle ailment following the game.
Why the Patriots should re-sign him: The Patriots have a lot of uncertainty at the receiver position heading into this offseason, with Stallworth, Branch, Edelman, and Wes Welker all hitting the open market. Re-signing Stallworth would be a low cost move that would carry little risk. The best case scenario: Stallworth makes the roster and becomes a solid #4 and deep threat. The worst case scenario: Stallworth doesn't make the roster and the Patriots move on with little-to-no financial fallout.
Why the Patriots should let him walk: We don't really know the severity of Stallworth's ankle injury, and while he did produce in his one game back with the team, he was really nothing more than an emergency option. The team could feel there are better depth options out on the market, and could choose to move on from the aging deep threat.
Bottom Line: Stallworth won't be a priority for the Patriots to re-sign, but considering his experience, skillset, the lack of depth that the Patriots have at receiver, and his presumably low contract demands, there's little reason to think the Patriots won't give Stallworth a chance at training camp again this offseason.
Prediction: Re-signs for one year, minimum deal