Recently signed linebacker Rolando McClain has informed Ravens officials that he will retire from the NFL. The decision is effective immediately, announced by general manager, Ozzie Newsome in a written statement on Wednesday afternoon.
McClain at just 23 years of age, made quite a shocking statement by announcing his retirement just one month into his deal with the Baltimore Ravens. He was arrested on April 21st, nine days after signing a contract with Baltimore and soon after, rumors had been swirling as to whether the team would stick with McClain and give him a second opportunity before he even put on a helmet or pads.
Its a sad situation for a man that clearly cannot stay out of trouble off field and needs help corralling his life which is spiraling out of control. His decision to retire leaves him with no support system, something that the Ravens had offered with the signing of the contract.
In a way, the Ravens avoid the embarrassment of having to cut McClain after giving him said opportunity and in the end, lose nothing in terms of money because his contract was for $700,000 dollars but not guaranteed.
On the field the team signed Rolando with hopes of bolstering a weakened linebacker core with Ray Lewis retired and Dannell Ellerbe to Miami. The decision to retire leaves the Ravens even thinner now as it seemed the Ravens were going to give McClain every opportunity to change course.
The veteran of the group, Jameel McClain, is currently recuperating from a serious spinal cord injury. The Ravens will also have Josh Bynes, Albert McClellan and Bryan Hall to battle for playing time at inside linebacker.
If Rolando stays in retirement, you hope that the man off the football field can get the help he needs, spend his time with family and friends that won’t lead him down the wrong path and out of Decatur, Alabama where he seemingly gets in trouble every time he’s in town.
For Baltimore, they’ll continue to explore options at the linebacker position, because as always, its next man up.