Per John Clayton and Ed Werder of ESPN.com, Oakland Raiders middle linebacker Rolando McClain has been suspended two games, starting with this Sunday's matchup with the Cleveland Browns for conduct detrimental to the team. Reports were flowing Wednesday that McClain would be given his outright release from the team.
However, it appears as though Raider GM Reggie McKenzie did not want to reward bad behavior with free game checks. So this is the compromise for McClain's heated argument with head coach Dennis Allen. And while this type of thing would never have happened under the late Al Davis, I have to say that it does not go far enough.
McClain should have been suspended the remainder of the season if the issue was the remainder of his salary for 2012 (approximately $300,000). His attitude, the comments posted on his Facebook about the organization, and worst of all, his inconsistent play should have dictated cutting ties directly from the team once and for all.
Instead, the Raiders go halfway and will likely have McClain active for the final three games, at home against Kansas City and at Carolina and San Diego. As I stated in my column Wednesday, the only thing worse than being unproductive is being unprofessional. McClain has been both and in spades.
While I can't predict whether or not we will see him play another down in Silver and Black, let me go on record as saying it should not be a question.
Allen and McKenzie should have made a clear statement about who is in charge in Oakland now and booted number 55 clear back to Mobile. You see, this is not just about the tipping point Wednesday. This is about nearly three years of sullen treatment to the media, three years of less than stellar play, and about a year of off-the-field trouble stemming from the alleged use of a gun.
Is this really the guy you want as the anchor of your football team?
Needless to say, I don't. And even if he was a bit more productive, to speak so ill of an organization that did allow you to return after a self-inflicted brush with the law shows a lack of maturity, respect and self-awareness—all traits you need from a leader.
All I keep thinking about is all of the praise McClain had for being a film rat and a student of the game under Nick Saban at the University of Alabama.
I guess those qualities ceased to exist when the game was officially for pay.