Rolando McClain is Coming to Baltimore

Rolando-Mcclain

Bob Labbe of the Madison (Alabama) Weekly News is reporting that troubled former Oakland Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain, the defensive leader of Alabama’s 2010 BCS Championship team (2009 season) is on his way to Charm City to become the newest member of the Baltimore Ravens.

(Note: As of 6:30PM today multiple sources have confirmed that McClain has signed a one-year deal with the Ravens.)

According to Madison News Weekly McClain is quoted as saying, “It’s a move that can’t go wrong and I’m looking forward to playing in Baltimore as the Ravens run the same or very similar defense as I was a part of at the University of Alabama.”

If the report is accurate, McClain could fill a gaping hole left by the departures of Ray Lewis (retirement) and Dannell Ellerbe (free agency) and it would unite him with former teammate Terrence Cody and another Crimson Tide alumnus Courtney Upshaw.

McClain has a ton of baggage and has been an off-the-field train wreck. The move would be surprising given the way in which the Ravens have shaped their locker room with men of character. On the surface he would not appear to be a fit for John Harbaugh’s locker room.

That said McClain could be a fit for General Manager Ozzie Newsome’s “right player, right price” credo. In order to re-establish himself in the NFL, McClain should willing accept a bargain basement contract. It could be that Ozzie sees little risk and may have struck a deal that allows the team to cut ties painlessly if McClain flops on or off the field.

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Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

22 Raves on “Rolando McClain is Coming to Baltimore

  1. Fran the Fan on said:

    Tony, I have two issues with this potential signing:

    The fact that no team even sniffed at picking up his contract until he cleared waivers is red flag number one . That and the fact that the Raiders, who have a long standing habit of cultivating bad boys, let this guy walk is another. We have to remember that we don’t have Ray around anymore to police the locker room, either.

    That said, he would fill a big need and if, as you wrote, the Ravens construct a minimum veteran contract loaded with performance and off-field standards, it might just work. If it’s screw up and you’re gone, then let’s do it.

    • Paul Lukoskie on said:

      Fran, I agree to a certain extent, but it is not like this locker room is devoid of positive leadership. Torrey, Rice, Joe, Suggs, Ngata, Webb, Art Jones, Leach, and now Dumervil.

    • ed in Ontario on said:

      fran-
      The reason no one claimed him on waivers is the same reason the raiders cut him (besides the off field stuff)- he was owed 7 million this year. Apparently the bungles thought about it even at that price. If it had been 1 or 2 million I guarantee someone would have grabbed him on waivers

    • Anonymous on said:

      I absolutely see your point Fran. However, As Paul mentioned, there are a whole of other dimensions to our leadership world in this organization. Not to mention, Ozzie is truly a genius. Im not saying to just trust him blindly. But one of his key attributes is building camaraderie. He knows how to keep college teammates together in other to build a tightly knit locker room. With Courtney and Cody already in line with the Principles that have already been instilled, it will be easy to have Rolando fall in line once he is obviously the odd ball if he decides not to at first. Its almost like a reverse affect school has on you. All of the cool kids want to do the precarious things. In our organization, all of the cool kids do what is right and sacrifice for his teammate….

    • Ben P on said:

      Remember the deeper game too. If he’s cheap and busts and we cut him, no real loss. If he plays really well and can command a really big contract next offseason, then Ozzie has effectively bought us a very cheap compensatory pick for the 2015 draft. This signing isn’t just about 2013 needs.

  2. ed in Ontario on said:

    The guy had no trouble in college or before. His issues and bad decisions have all been with the raiders, who are devoid of proper leadership. I think the guy deserves a second chance. He was a leader of the national championship team when he was at Alabama, and won many awards. If we sign it I would assume it is because people at Alabama and former teammates like Cody and Huff vouched for him.

  3. g money on said:

    i do like the youth that mcclain brings to the position. dansby is awesome, but he is nearing the end of his road. mcclain is only 24. if ozzie thinks this guy is a good move, then i do.

  4. Hollywoodheiz on said:

    Stats for career:
    2010 15 games started 59 tackles
    2011 14 games started 79 tackles
    2112 9 games started 37 tackles
    Total assists past three years 70
    Not sure how much this guy is going to fill the void statically left by Ray and El. But his upside could be that he is only 23 years old. If they assign the proper babysitter to him this could be a gem. Unless he falls into the Cody mold of another middle of the pack talent from Bama.
    Looks like this could be a job for none other than Chad Steele.

  5. Jerry M on said:

    Yeah Maan I say give his A#* a shot whats the worst that can happen in one yr with a guy who is trying to prove his worth ya know? He is young but the leadership of Suggs and Ngata will mold him into a RAVENS MLB.

  6. karl on said:

    The kid made mistakes. He’s 23! Many make dumb mistakes. I’m sure many of you did too. Michael Phelps made several. Ray did. Kobe did. And who knows how many things other guys get into that quietly go away.

    Give this kid a chance. If he screws us then cut him. But if not, he could start for us over the next several years. Even with a one year deal, he’d only be a RFA after this year.

  7. Chris on said:

    I’ll reserve judgement and trust Ozzie. Hopefully having friends and contacts in Alabama, Ozzie is aware that McClain is trying to straighten himself out. If he does it could be a steal. The guy has all the talent in the world he just needs to grow up on and off the field.

  8. chitownravenfan on said:

    Just read a few articles on Rolando McClain, and all his OTF issues were relative not so much to Oakland, but to hanging with his boys in his hometown. Hanging with the old crew, while they are still doing the same ole thing that he escaped from by balling at Bama and being a 1st round top 10 draft pick. Now that he is married with 2 young kids and a new home away from his old crew, I suspect that he will join the Ravens with the professional focus and respect for Ozzie and the Ravens to build his “Ray” like legacy with the World Champions (2X). This could be a defense that Ozzie is providing Harbaugh that will wrestle it’s dominance and team leadership back from Flacco/Rice/Torrey this year. Can you imagine how good we are, when our Offense is battling our Defense to be what carries the Ravens to another Super Bowl???? Amazing!

  9. Kevin in Warrenton VA on said:

    I’m not overly excited. He is a 4 year guy with poor performance ON THE FIELD, ignoring the off-the-field stupidity. Throw in the off-field issues and IO forsee a guy that will be risky.
    We no longer have Ed Reed to be a locker room help.

  10. Robert on said:

    Everyone is making great periods and i believe this will be a great sign. Trust me one of his biggest supporter will be 52 himself . People are acting is RAY is died. He still bleeds purple and black. If these moves pan out this team will defense and win another title next. season. The defense will be that good and so much younger .

  11. MtnDrew on said:

    I am pretty sure if hes signing w us a certain retired future hall of fame linebacker is already providing the leadership to our new stud steeler killer!

  12. Bruce Romo on said:

    … I called it months ago
    – add a pair of mid round ILB draft picks (e.g. Kiko Alonso, Nico Johnson, perhaps A J Klien)
    along with Bynes, McLellen… Hall & Carr
    and if Jameel returns it’s a bonus.
    … Now, Ozzie can focus on LT and WR in the draft ( M Watson or Armistead?, D Hopkins or S Bailey?) — and utilize some of the addition picks we retain to potentially trade up ( since Left Tackle and Wide Out are, allegedly, thin in this years draft)

  13. Smitty on said:

    Already read about him turning his life around. This could be a spectacular pickup.
    He is only 23 and former 1st round talent. Raiders used him in a 4-3 instead of a 3-4 which fits him.
    Raiders suck and will continue to suck.
    McClain has a great opportunity to start. Draft either Arthur Brown in the 1st or Kiko Alonso in the 2nd to put next to him. And grab a safety (Matt Elam or Sharmarko Thomas) to put next to Huff and the defense is right back in action.
    Chris Faulk and Luke Marquardt for OTs, Da’Rick Rogers or Chris Harper at WR, Joseph Fauria at TE.
    Take a flyer on Ray Ray Armstrong SS, near the end of the draft to develop.

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