Rolando McClain has found a new home with the Baltimore Ravens and will be looking to redeem himself after a rocky start to his career.
UPDATE: Friday, April 12th, at 2:18 p.m. ET by Kyle Vassalo
The Ravens announced on twitter that they have officially reached a one-year deal with Rolando McClain:
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The Baltimore Ravens and free-agent linebacker Rolando McClain have reportedly negotiated a one-year contract, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:
CBS' Jason La Canfora did note that McClain must pass a physical first:
McClain was cut by the Oakland Raiders less than a week ago (h/t ESPN) as the team continues its rebuilding process under second-year general manager Reggie McKenzie.
McClain addressed his release in a statement to ESPN:
I'd like to thank the Raiders for giving me an opportunity to play in the NFL. I'm disappointed that it hasn't worked out better, but I'm very excited and thankful for the Raiders allowing me to get a fresh start. I will miss my teammates and wish them and the Raiders organization good luck going forward.
The Ravens are in the process of replacing all of the pieces that left via free agency, retired or were traded after the team won the Super Bowl, and taking a risk with McClain at middle linebacker is something an established franchise like Baltimore can handle.
Losing inside linebackers Ray Lewis to retirement and Dannell Ellerbe to free agency (h/t Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun) has left a giant void for the team, and signing McClain could be the affordable short-term solution the team needs.
McClain has upside if he can focus on his craft in Baltimore, so this could be a risk that pays off huge for the Ravens down the line. However, he will need to prove he can turn things around.
Drafted by the Raiders at No. 8 overall in 2010, McClain has had his fair share of troubles on and off the field.
The former Alabama Crimson Tide star has been a liability at times against the run, and his inability to contribute in pass coverage also made Oakland’s decision to cut him an easy one.
Add in the fact that he has been arrested multiple times—first in connection with a shooting in Alabama (per The Huntsville Times) and more recently for giving a false name to police (per WHNT)—and Oakland’s decision to move on was what the team felt was best.
The NFL is all about second chances, though, and McClain could be getting a huge one if he signs with the Ravens.