PHILADELPHIA (March 11, 2007) -- Donte' Stallworth will be catching passes from Tom Brady instead of Donovan McNabb next year.
Stallworth and the New England Patriots agreed on a multiyear contract. The deal was confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.
Stallworth leaves the Philadelphia Eagles after one season in which he caught 38 passes for 725 yards and five touchdowns in 12 regular-season games. He also had six catches for 141 yards and two scores in two playoff games.
The 28-year-old Stallworth played four years in New Orleans after being selected in the first round in the 2002 NFL Draft. He has 233 career receptions for 3,516 yards and 28 TDs in 68 games.
Stallworth's departure leaves a huge void in Philadelphia's passing game. He gives Brady and the Patriots a legitimate deep threat with gamebreaking skills. Reche Caldwell led New England with 61 catches for 760 yards and four TDs last season. No other player had more than 49 catches for the Patriots, who traded away Deion Branch after a contract dispute last year.
New England, which lost to Indianapolis in the AFC championship game, has been quite active in free agency, signing linebacker Adalius Thomas, kick returner/receiver Wes Welker, tight end Kyle Brady and backup running back Sammy Morris.
Meanwhile, the Eagles have been quiet. They've re-signed three of their own free agents and added wideout/returner Bethel Johnson. The NFC East champions lost valuable backup quarterback Jeff Garcia (Tampa Bay), nickel cornerback Rod Hood (Arizona) and former Pro Bowl strong safety Michael Lewis (San Francisco).