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A Knucklehead Retires: The end to Rolando McClain’s NFL career

Street Talk A Knucklehead Retires: The end to Rolando McClain’s NFL career

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The Rolando McClain experiment in Baltimore is over, as the former linebacker has pulled the plug on his career full of knuckle-headed mistakes.

“Rolando let me know that he plans to retire from the NFL,” Ravens general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome said. “We have placed him on the Reserve/Retired list.”

A once promising career is now over at the age of 23. After being drafted with the eighth overall pick in 2010 by the Oakland Raiders, McClain’s mistakes led him to being released prematurely, not even receiving the full amount of $23 million in guarantees in his original five-year, $40 million deal.

Once the Raiders suspended McClain for conduct detrimental to the team, McClain had the final $3.635 million in guaranteed money voided. That’s more than $3 million that he’s going to wish he had as he’ll never again receive a payday like he was accustomed to for the past three years.

Not even two weeks after being signed by the Ravens, McClain was arrested. His most recent legal issue was thought to be enough to have the Ravens pull the plug before they even gave McClain a helmet to wear or assigned him a jersey number. Somehow, McClain remained on the roster even as the Ravens addressed some of their needs at middle linebacker with second-round selection, Arthur Brown from Kansas State.

With Brown in Baltimore, fans once again waited for McClain to receive his pink slip; however, that didn’t seem likely based off of the comments from assistant general manager Eric DeCosta during a chat session with the Baltimore Sun.

“I think this about McClain, he deserves another chance,” DeCosta said, essentially proving that McClain which was a surprise to some and proved that McClain was basically a cat with nine lives.

It will likely never be confirmed but it may be possible that McClain didn’t eat as big of a slice of humble pie as expected. Given the fact that McClain feared for his football career following his most recent arrest back home in Decatur, Al., it appeared that he still wanted to play.

So why the change of heart?

Unless something quickly changed McClain’s desire to make hundreds of thousands of dollars this season, he potentially could have been informed by the team that they were going to release him, and subsequently could have come to the conclusion that retiring was the best way to inflict the least amount of additional embarrassment on an already embarrassing career.

The saddest part of the stories when it comes to players like McClain (two arrests this offseason) and free agent wide receiver Titus Young (three arrests this past week), is that their young careers will come to an abrupt end due to their own immaturity. Over the summer, hundreds of young men will step into various training camps around the league and be told they’re not good enough to play in the NFL, no matter how hard they study and train.

For McClain, it was the exact opposite, because clearly he never loved the game enough. What a waste. At least it didn’t cost the Ravens a single dime in the end.

Here’s the team’s official announcement:

LB ROLANDO McCLAIN RETIRES FROM NFL

LB Rolando McClain is retiring from the NFL, Ravens general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome announced Wednesday.

“Rolando let me know that he plans to retire from the NFL,” Newsome stated. “We have placed him on the Reserve/Retired list.”

McClain, 23, signed a one-year contract with the Ravens as a free agent on April 12. Prior to joining Baltimore, he spent his first three NFL seasons (2010-12) with the Oakland Raiders after becoming the eighth-overall selection in the 2010 Draft.

McClain posted 274 tackles (195 solo), 6.5 sacks (-42.5 yards), one interception, one forced fumble and 23 passes defensed in 41 career games with Oakland.

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Kris Jones

About Kris Jones

Kris - or "Goob" as he's widely known - has turned an obsession into a career. As a media member by day and super fan by night, he reports from the Under Armour Performance Center twice per week and brings Ravens news from a fan's perspective. His popular YouTube series Goobvision propelled his career and notoriety amongst Ravens fans, even helping him win the 2010 nationwide DIRECTV Ultimate Displaced Fan contest. He's been featured on shows such as The Jim Rome Show, ProFootballTalk Live, The Sirius XM Blitz with Rich Gannon and Adam Schein, Sirius XM's MadDog Radio, The Michael Irvin Show, Tony Bruno Show, Two Live Stews and FoxSports.com to name a few (or is that a lot?). He's caught a touchdown pass from Warren Moon during a flag football game and hates the Pittsburgh Steelers more than anyone else on the face of the earth. Twitter: RavenManiac  More from Kris Jones

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