I’ll admit that when I heard of his most recent arrest, like many of you, I was ready to kick Rolando McClain to the curb and drive the final nail into a coffin called Rolando’s Ravens career – one dead on arrival.
But Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh have so far refrained from doing that and you have to wonder why. After all isn’t a John Harbaugh team supposed to be rich with character consisting of over-achieving, hard-working Mighty Men who love the game of football?
Such a description doesn’t exactly jump to the forefront of your mind when you think of McClain.
So why do the Ravens think as assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said during The Baltimore Sun Sports Forum, that Rolando, “deserves a second chance”?
Could it be that there are still concerns about the middle of their defense, one that Ozzie seems hell bent on improving? Are there lingering doubts about the ability of Jameel McClain to bounce back from a spinal contusion injury?
Let’s assume that the Ravens are sincere and they genuinely want to give McClain a second chance even if some would argue, and with reason, that the “second chance” took place a couple of chances ago. The Ravens do have strong ties to Alabama, Nick Saban and The Crimson Tide coaching staff. Surely they’ve done their homework and have concluded that “second chance” is worth the risk.
And really what risk is there?
The Ravens aren’t guaranteeing Rolando any money so even if second chance needs a third, so what?
Some might worry that McClain could be a locker room cancer. But the Ravens locker room is strong and one bad apple, assuming McClain goes that way, won’t spoil the whole bunch. It’s far more likely that McClain would be influenced to move in a positive direction than him influencing other Ravens to venture down a dark path.
Even if the Rolando Experiment fails, the Ravens stand to gain.
Think of it this way…
Suppose an agent is looking to place his client with a team where he can resurrect his career and then cash in later either with that team or another. The agent will first look for an organization willing to extend second chances. When that list is complete the agent will prefer that his client receives a fair chance to compete for a starting position, ideally with a team that can make a postseason appearance.
Sounds a lot like the Baltimore Ravens doesn’t it?
Now suppose that player given the second chance actually takes advantage of it?
Might that not be a great way to get extreme value from a position while effectively maximizing limited salary cap dollars?
And now, let’s suppose that player is Rolando McClain.