Don’t rely on Rolando McClain

Former Oakland Raiders middle linebacker and Alabama Crimson Tide defensive leader, Rolando McClain, will likely agree to a one-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens. ESPN’s Adam Schefter has said that the two sides will meet today to iron out the details of the contract. The 6’4”, 259 lb McClain already has ties to the Ravens franchise. His cousin is former Ravens FB/RB Le’Ron McClain.

McClain is a good run stopper, solid tackler, does well eluding blockers to get to the ball carriers. He was the leader of a National Championship defense at Alabama. McClain was a first round, eighth overall pick in the 2010 draft by the Raiders. He’s got great strength, and the physical ability to be a major player in the NFL for years to come.

That’s about where the pros end and the cons begin, starting with McClain’s two-cent head. McClain’s rap sheet may read a little a misleading. When you hear terms like “third degree” assault, misdemeanor, released on a measly $2,000 bond, it makes you think petty crimes.  According to an article from The Huntsville Times, McClain was involved in a fight on the street and the victim that McClain was involved in assaulting, claims that while on the ground, McClain put a pistol to his head and fired just past his ear when he begged McClain not to kill him.

For all we know, Rolando McClain was inches away and is completely capable of committing first degree murder.


It’s good to see Rolando McClain had the sense of humor to smile for the camera while being helped into the back of a police car. Very mature. Shows a lot of remorse.

Other run-ins with the law include allegedly hitting an Alabama student with his car while attending school in 2008. Having his vehicle fired upon while driving through his hometown of Decatur, Alabama in January 2011. The a fore mentioned incident in December 2011, in which a financial settlement was agreed upon in court a year later between McClain and the victim which led to the victim dropping the charges. Three months ago, McClain was pulled over for illegally tinted windows, and he gave the officer a fake identity. He was arrested and released on bond the next day. Lying about your identity in routine traffic stop? Leads me to think he has some more skeletons in the closet.  He has apparent enemies in his hometown as well. McClain is one of those guys that apparently feels the need to carry a gun around for “protection”. Ask Plaxico Burress, Gilbert Arenas, Tank Johnson, Shaun Rogers (who tried to sneak a handgun through airport security) among many others how that worked out for them.

The Ravens are rolling the dice with this signing. It’s going to be a one year deal with hopefully no guaranteed money coming his way. He should have to earn every penny. Low risk, higher reward making it the only proper deal I would have offered the guy.

I wouldn’t rely on Rolando McClain. I wouldn’t consider him the answer at middle linebacker. The Ravens should still intend to add depth there in the draft. Even if it is with the first pick to go after guys like Kevin Minter, or Alec Ogletree. The Ravens feel like it builds character, giving a guy a second chance and all, as evident by the Sergio Kindle and Jimmy Smith draft picks. Kindle didn’t take advantage. Smith might not be that good. This year will tell.

If McClain stays out of trouble, and that is a serious if, and he plays well, then I would consider it a bonus. But I’m going to be more interested in Jameel McClain’s recovery from a neck injury, and whomever the Ravens take during the draft at MLB. But saying that Rolando McClain is the new starting MLB and avoid adding depth to that position would be stupid. It’d be as stupid as giving a fake name to a cop during a traffic stop.

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About the author

Mike Randall   

Ravens Analyst

Mike was born on the Eastern Shore, raised in Finksburg, and currently resides in Parkville. In 2009, Mike graduated from the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland. Mike became a Baltimore City Fire Fighter in late 2010. Mike has appeared as a guest on Q1370. Now a Sr. Ravens Analyst for BSL, he be reached at

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