Troubled Ravens linebacker McClain elects to retire from NFL


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Rolando McClain’s run with the Baltimore Ravens is apparently over as well as his NFL career.
The troubled 23-year-old linebacker has informed the Ravens he’s elected to retire after three tumultuous seasons that started with the Alabama standout being selected with the eighth overall pick of the 2010 draft by Oakland and ended before he even took part in as much as a practice with the Ravens.
“Rolando let me know that he plans to retire from the NFL,” general manager Newsome said in a team statement. “We have placed him on the reserve-retired list.”
McClain signed a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Ravens on April 12. He became available after Oakland elected to release him and eat roughly $11 million in dead money on their 2013 salary cap to rid themselves of a player with off-field issues as well as a reputation for being a malcontent in the locker room.
The signing drew criticism from many who labeled it as an uncharacteristic move by an organization that prides itself on having strong-character players. McClain faced misdemeanor charges of third-degree assault, menacing, reckless endangerment, and illegal discharge of a firearm in his hometown of Decatur, Ala. in 2011. The charges were eventually dropped after an original conviction was appealed. The 2009 Butkus Award winner was also arrested in January after failing to sign a citation related to illegal window tint on his vehicle.
Newsome and coach John Harbaugh met with McClain to share their expectations before offering him a deal that included the potential to make $400,000 in incentives to supplement his base salary. McClain followed that initial meeting by being arrested once again in Decatur on April 21 with charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors.
Despite cries from some to release McClain and then the selection of Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown in the second round of last month’s draft, the Ravens appeared committed to giving McClain another opportunity as Newsome and assistant general manager Eric DeCosta never gave any indication that the former Raider’s offseason roster spot was in jeopardy.
The inside linebacker collected 274 tackles, 6 1/2 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, and 23 pass breakups in 41 career games with the Raiders.


  1. Are the Raiders still on the hook for the Cap money now that McClain has retired?
    (L.J. – Yes. All bonus money is accelerated. Just like the Ravens have some dead money for Ray Lewis and Matt Birk this season.)

  2. yes, PghSteve…Oak has to account for the prorated bonus paid to McClain, regardless of his status w/us or any other team. They paid him a signing bonus and prorated it over the length of the contract—once he was released, the full amount left of the prorated bonus has to be accounted for this year…the Jets are in the same boat w/Sanchez, which is why he won’t be cut this year from the team.
    As far as McClain goes, simply…what a waste

  3. The day this guy was signed he should have come to Baltimore and rented a modest place in Owings Mills and lived at the facility during the day and went home and straight to bed. Lawrence Phillips Jr.

  4. Another question: Since he was under contract with the Ravens when he retired, do the Ravens have ‘dibs’ on him should he decide to unretire in a year or 2?

  5. Never mind, the answer is on PFT:
    “Indeed, Baltimore will retain McClain’s rights, since he’ll be placed on the team’s reserve/retired list. So if/when he returns, the Ravens would move him to the active roster, and they’d have him under contract for one year at $700,000.”
    (L.J. – Correct. Doesn’t mean they’ll want him, however.)

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