One way to go would have been to franchise Stallworth, but it would have been an expensive option. It would have meant paying him well over $7 million and the Eagles would rather not do that. Instead, they've decided to see if they can work out a cheaper deal with him prior to him hitting the free agent market or possibly compete with another team to sign him as a free agent. The Eagles hope that either of those options will come in cheaper than they would have gotten off by franchising him and they're probably right.
Stallworth will attract attention and he's looking to be the featured receiver in an offensive scheme. With Reggie Brown around, he's going to have to share the duties much like he did with Joe Horn in New Orleans. Plus, the Eagles have young receivers like Hank Baskett coming along and veteran Greg Lewis to help pick up any slack that would be left by the departure of Stallworth.
Still, the Eagles wouldn't mind having Stallworth stay in town if they can work out a decent deal with him. It would give them some insurance at the receiver position and with question marks about Donovan McNabb's health the Eagles would help themselves by having a solid receiving corps to help out a backup quarterback.
The bottom line: With Jeff Garcia likely a goner, the Eagles don't have to worry about how much money he would take up. They could easily re-sign Stallworth and still have some money left over to re-sign some of their free agents or go after other free agents to fill holes on the roster.
It's likely that Stallworth will test free agency to look for that featured receiver spot. It's unlikely that he's going to find it and will probably give the Eagles a chance to top any offer that he may get. The Eagles are likely to take Stallworth up on that opportunity and re-sign him to play opposite Reggie Brown and keep the receiving corps intact.