Ravens risked little, lose little in McClain's retirement
Just how retired do you think just-retired linebacker Rolando McClain is? Despite his legal troubles and underwhelming performance during his three years with the Raiders, McClain was a first-round draft pick out of Alabama and is only 23 years old.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio posits that this is strictly a temporary maneuver, that McClain is simply clearing the decks of everything but straightening himself out, taking care of his issues with the law and showing he can be a good citizen — and then returning to the NFL.
“My first thought upon seeing the news that he’ll be walking away from the game is that he’s doing so temporarily, and that if he stays out of trouble for a specific period of time (perhaps a year, perhaps less than that), McClain will unretire and return to the Ravens,” Florio writes.
Because McClain will be on the Ravens’ reserve/retired list, they retain his rights should he come back. McClain would belong to the Ravens under his one-year, $700,000 contract.
“The Ravens have offered to be a resource for McClain during this process, a consideration that likely flows in part from McClain’s connection to Alabama, where GM Ozzie Newsome played college football,” Florio writes.
This does nothing to change that the Ravens’ original decision to sign McClain was a low-risk move — small salary, small commitment, possible big payoff if he gets it together.