Rolando McClain Tells Ravens He's Leaving Football
LINEBACKER PLACED ON RESERVE/RETIRED LIST BY TEAM
By Joe Platania
On the same day retired Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis turned 38 years old, one of those entrusted with filling his shoes has left them empty.
Free-agent signee Rolando McClain, given a chance to rehabilitate his image in Lewis-like fashion by the Ravens organization in general -- and fellow Alabama graduate Ozzie Newsome in particular -- has decided to retire from the NFL after signing a one-year deal with Baltimore.
The Oakland Raiders took McClain, now 23 years old, with the eighth overall pick of the 2010 draft, but he played only 41 games for the team before being suspended during last season for detrimental conduct and being arrested three times during a 16-month span.
After signing McClain, the Ravens continued to keep him on their roster after a disorderly conduct arrest stemming from an incident in a park in his hometown of Decatur, Ala.
But once the team selected Kansas State inside linebacker Arthur Brown during the second round of the draft, McClain's days in Baltimore seemed numbered. Apparently, no other teams expressed interest in him, leading to the retirement announcement.
McClain has been placed on the reserve/retired list; he is the third member of the organization to retire during the offseason, following Lewis and center Matt Birk. But unlike Lewis and Birk, McClain never played a game for the Ravens.
McClain saved himself a court date in his native Alabama by pleading guilty to a window-tint violation, which grew out of an arrest four months ago after a traffic stop.
The city of Decatur had also dismissed the false-information charge levied against McClain for stating incorrect information during that stop. It took the form of his writing an expletive on the ticket instead of his signature.
Although the dropped charge and the online payment of a $186 fine cleared McClain of that incident, he does have an early-July court date in Decatur on the disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges he received after a disturbance in a public park in which he reportedly cursed at police and incited riotous behavior.
This was the incident that took place a little more than a week after the 23-year-old McClain signed his Ravens contract following his release by the Raiders.
McClain also has pending legal procedures in his future regarding charges of reckless driving and driving while uninsured, also taking place in Decatur.
Although McClain's behaviorial troubles likely contributed to his release by the Raiders, it could also have been a salary-cap move, and the relatively low price for which the Ravens signed him was viewed as a low-risk, high-reward maneuver.
Oakland released McClain -- author of 6.5 career sacks and one interception -- when he was reportedly due more than $4 million this year and nearly $6 million in 2014.
Last season, the 6-foot-3, 254-pound McClain started in just nine of 16 games, but he played in 15 games in 2011 and started all but one contest in 2010, his rookie season.
Against the Ravens on Nov. 11, McClain recorded just two tackles as Baltimore notched a franchise-record 55 points during a 35-point blowout victory against the Raiders. Michael Huff intercepted Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco during that game.
Perhaps McClain's best career game came during Week Three of the 2011 season, when the Raiders outlasted quarterback Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets, 34-24. McClain, known as being more dominant in the run game than in pass defense, registered seven tackles and five assists during the win.
Posted May 15, 2013