Rolando McClain Retires from NFL at Age 23

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIMay 15, 2013

Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker and former first-round draft pick Rolando McClain is retiring from the NFL at the very young age of 23.

UPDATE: Thursday, May 16th, at 3:54 p.m. ET by Kyle Vassalo:

Rolando McClain released a statement on his retirement from the NFL, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson:

'Clearly, my decision to retire has raised some questions. Quite simply, I love football, but I have decided at this time it is in my best interest to focus on getting my personal life together. Beyond that, I am not sure what the future holds for me, including football. This was entirely my decision and the Ravens have been very supportive during this process. I am very grateful for the opportunity they gave me and wish them the best of luck in the future. God willing, maybe I'll play for them one day.'

---End of Update---

Staff writer Ryan Mink broke the surprising news on the team's official website on Wednesday. McClain reportedly told Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome that he planned to retire, and Newsome subsequently placed him on the reserve/retired list on Wednesday.

In January, McClain was arrested yet again. He was then waived by the Oakland Raiders in April—the team that selected him with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2010 draft.

After signing a one-year contract with Baltimore this offseason, it appeared McClain was getting a golden opportunity to get his career back on track. However, the off-field incidents continued, as McClain was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in Decatur, Ala.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported last week that parting ways with McClain was still a definite possibility.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

There's still a real chance the #Ravens end up moving on from Rolando McClain. They protected themselves salary-wise. No guaranteed money.

This was in spite of the fact that Ravens assistant GM Eric DeCosta said even after McClain’s most recent run-in with the law that he deserved a second chance.

It’s no longer going to be an issue for the defending Super Bowl champions in light of this news, as McClain seems set to walk away from the gridiron for good. As Rapoport points out, McClain's short-term deal was heavily reliant on incentives.

Throughout his brief career, the ex-Alabama Crimson Tide star simply did not live up to the hype. 2011 was easily McClain’s best campaign, as he racked up 99 total tackles, five sacks and defended 14 passes.