According to ESPN.com, the troubled-yet-talented player was found guilty of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct stemming from a 2013 incident in Decatur, Alabama.
Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the former University of Alabama star's sentence includes an 18-day stint in jail:
Cowboys LB Rolando McClain found guilty today of resisting arrest + disorderly conduct, sentenced to 18 days in jail and a $1000 fine but...— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 25, 2014
With that said, McClain appealed, so the case will restart from scratch:
McClain’s attorney, Harvey Steinberg, filed an appeal, which now means judge’s decision becomes annulled and case starts all over again.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 25, 2014
According to Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com, McClain will return to Cowboys training camp in the wake of the appeal:
Cowboys LB Rolando McClain sentenced to 18 days in jail. Filed appeal, flying back to camp. http://t.co/IQjToAPwXl— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) July 25, 2014
Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News spoke with Stephen Jones on McClain:
Stephen Jones on Rolando McClain: "We can either take chances on older guys for the vet. minimum or we can take a chance on a 1st-rd pick."— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) July 26, 2014
Will Rolando McClain play in the NFL during the 2014 regular season?
Before ever playing a game for the Ravens, though, McClain decided to retire. He returned to the Ravens once again this offseason but retired for a second time, per Sean Wickersham of ESPN The Magazine.
"I gotta follow my heart," McClain said via text. "It ain't football. If football made me complete I would play. But whenever I think of it my heart pulls me away from whatever reason. ... This means I'm done."
Despite that, the Cowboys traded for McClain in early July as they sent a sixth-round pick to Baltimore in exchange for McClain and a seventh-round selection. Following that deal, McClain's agent Pat Dye claimed that his client had an apparent change of heart, according to ESPN.com:
I see and Rolando sees the Dallas situation as a great opportunity given Sean (Lee's) injury and you're talking about a great franchise and a great organization. I've described to any of the clients we've had through the years there, Emmitt Smith, Dexter Coakley, DeMarcus Ware, Marcus Spears, Keith Brooking, DeMarco Murray, that playing for the Cowboys in football is kind of like playing for the Yankees in baseball. Just an iconic franchise.
Per Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones believes McClain is still capable of being a quality NFL player:
Jerry on Rolando McClain: "I have known a lot of people, a lot of successful people that quit and then got it together and turned it around"— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) July 24, 2014
McClain seems committed to making the Cowboys roster and playing in 2014 for now, but legal problems are still hanging over his head. Appealing kicks the can further down the road, but another conviction is entirely possible.
The Cowboys knew what they were getting when they traded for McClain, though, so the ultimate ruling may not impact how they handle him.
McClain is a hugely talented player who could be a Pro Bowler if he stays out of trouble and places all of his focus on football. He is still young and has all the potential in the world.
This appeal will allow him to take part in training camp, but his legal battle is far from over. Until things are settled on that front, there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding McClain's future.
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