Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/17/14
FOXBORO, Mass. — Donte Stallworth hasn’t been in a classroom in over 10 years. But as finals season quickly approaches for most students, Stallworth will also be hitting the books. The 33-year-old receiver was re-signed by the Patriots on Monday, and knows the Patriots’ offense better than just about any receiver on the free-agent market, save for maybe Deion Branch. But even with his in-depth knowledge of the system, a lot can change, and be forgotten, in three months. So, he knows there’s lots of work to do. “Playing in the offense before, it made it a lot easier, but being out as long as I have, it’s not like a video game, where you just throw someone in and they automatically know what’s going on,” Stallworth said of his return to New England. “It’s like I’m back at school, I’ll be studying hard every day.” Stallworth hasn’t taken a meaningful snap in the NFL in almost a year, and was “disappointed” when the team released him during training camp. But the veteran receiver, who’s been on six different teams in nine NFL seasons, understands the business and holds no ill will toward the Patriots. “I have a lot of love for this organization, and have a lot of friends on this team, so to say I was excited is probably an accurate assessment,” Stallworth said. “My main thing over these past few months is try to stay in good shape, train hard, and hope for an opportunity. And thankfully I got it now.” That opportunity didn’t arise from any of the 32 teams around the NFL this season, nor after his workout with the Patriots last week. But Stallworth continued to hold out hope for someone to give him a chance. “I’ve been in this league long enough to understand how it works. It’s just like after a game: You lose a game, you’re upset about it that night, but you come back in the next day and you prepare,” Stallworth said. “That’s what I did, although it took me a little more than a night. It took a few days, but after that I tried to get back down where I live in Miami, get back with my trainer, and just continue to work and hopefully get an opportunity.” The Patriots weren’t necessarily ready to “give” Stallworth that chance, as much as Julian Edelman‘s season-ending ankle injury forced their hand. Stallworth was at Sunday’s game in his hometown of Miami and witnessed the play where Edelman suffered the broken ankle. Even though the injury opened up his current opportunity, Stallworth never wanted things to work out this way. “Nah, I was just hoping that he wasn’t hurt too bad,” Stallworth said. “Jules is a great kid and he’s had a great year. It’s unfortunate what happened with him, but that’s the way this business goes. I wish him a speedy recovery.” As for the timing of the opportunity, Stallworth wishes it came sooner in the season. But he admits that joining on with the division champions and heading to the playoffs is far better than catching up on his favorite TV dramas. “I would have rather it been September, but this isn’t too bad either,” Stallworth said. “It’s better than sitting home and watching ‘Dexter’ and ‘Boardwalk Empire’ all day.” We’ll see if Stallworth is able to have an impact on the offense against the Texans come Monday, but at least we know he’ll be working his butt off in preparation. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Russell Wilson smashes HR in Rangers BP

John Fox: Jay Cutler will have to earn starting QB job

Report: Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall candidates for Texas

Kurt Warner is helping to turn around Colin Kaepernick

Bizarre call allows Duke to cover spread against Utah

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Saints love TE Josh Hill following Jimmy Graham trade

Darren Sproles' role is growing for the Eagles

Barkley, Reggie Miller condemn Indiana religious freedom bill

Metta World Peace interested in coaching at St John's

Knicks want Marc Gasol, do they know what they’re asking for?

New York Rangers are the first team to clinch a playoff spot

Bruins coach suits up as backup goalie

Tennessee fans show love for Bruce Pearl on campus rock

Louisville guard turned off phone after clutch NC State win

Steve Spurrier hung out with Kenny Chesney before concert

Winnipeg Jets prospect had a rough night on the ice

Russell Wilson to suit up for Texas Rangers Saturday

Did Dean Smith’s gifts to former players violate NCAA rules?

WWE unveils Ultimate Warrior statue

WATCH: Tom Brady jumps off tall cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Dominique Wilkins in HORSE

Angels remove Josh Hamilton banner from front of stadium

Elite Eight preview: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

John Fox: Cutler will have to earn job

Texas eyeing Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.