Donte' Stallworth is ready to move on, but he knows he'll never forget the tragic mistake that came back on March 14 of last year.
Early that morning, Stallworth struck and killed a pedestrian while driving drunk in Miami Beach.
The incident led to a 30-day jail sentence (of which Stallworth served 24 days before being released), two years of house arrest, eight years of probation, 1,000 hours of community service, and a one-year suspension from the NFL.
Now, after being reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and signing a one-year, $900,000 contract with the Ravens, Stallworth is getting a chance to put the past behind him.
But in his first meeting with the media since joining the Ravens, Stallworth said that won't be easy.
"It's tough. It's a daily process," Stallworth told reporters yesterday. "It's not something that's in the back of my mind. You know, it's something that I deal with every day, waking up in the morning and going to sleep at night. It's a tough situation for everyone involved."
The year away from football gave Stallworth a lot of time to think about the accident and himself on a larger scale. The 29-year-old says he used that time to make some changes in his life.
"I think the biggest change for me is that I've become a better decision maker," Stallworth said. "Just from that accident, [it] allows me to understand the severity of making one bad decision, how it can snowball into a whole terrible incident.
"I've become a better decision maker. I wasn't, before this accident, I wasn't a bad person at all. That's not the way my mom raised me. I haven't changed much as a person, just more so, I'm more aware of the decisions that I make and things of that nature."
Under his sentence, Stallworth can leave his house for work but is not allowed to drive. He said he's adjusted to the new lifestyle and has made arrangements to get to and from practices and team activities.
Those who know Stallworth all seem to rave about his character, heart, and toughness, not just as a football player, but as a person.
Stallworth says he hopes that fans will be able to look past that March 14 morning and see that side of him as well.
"As far as me being a person, one instance doesn't define a person at all," he said. "It's a situation to where I could have used better judgment and I didn't, and the end result was what it was.
"At the end of the day, I think that once people get to know me, they'll know I'm not the kind of person that is perceived from the outcome of what had happened with my case."