Just another hurdle in the life of Jameel McClain.
Through periods of homelessness as a youngster to a career-threatening spinal cord injury in 2012, McClain has been battling adversity for much of his life. The undrafted linebacker received word yesterday that he would be released from the Baltimore Ravens, along with fullback Vonta Leach, in order to free up additional salary cap space.
Not really much of a news-breaking event as McClain’s name has been linked to the scenario for much of the Ravens offseason.
McClain had some ups and downs in 2013, much like every player who takes the field each week in the NFL. For his career, the former Syracuse product played in 87 games while starting 55 games for the purple and black. He recorded 338 total tackles, 4.5 sacks and forced two turnovers in his six-year career with the Ravens.
While those numbers certainly aren’t comparable to Baltimore’s legendary Ray Lewis, McClain’s heart was that of a lion.
Voted as the team’s 2013 Ed Block Courage Award Winner, McClain was truly the epitome of what this prestigious award stands for. Never quitting, never giving up and always working hard in the offseason, McClain’s work ethic was top-notch as was his leadership.
When not on the football field, Jameel has been a huge contributor in giving back to the community. From his annual backpack giveaways to his partnership with the Salvation Army Baltimore Area Command or his “53 Families” Thanksgiving event, McClain has made Maryland a better place.
Over the course of the last few years I have gotten to know Jameel both on and off the field. Watching him grow from an undrafted rookie free agent to a champion has been a pleasure.
What the future has in store for McClain remains to be seen but one thing is for sure: he will prevail and overcome whatever stands in his way.
Thanks for everything Jameel. You have been a class act all the way!
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