The football "experts" on the Internet and other places already are starting to say the Rolando McClain deal could be a really big gamble for the Ravens.
Is it a gamble? Yes, possibly. But it's not a big one.
The Ravens are likely doing this as a let's-see type of thing. McClain has talent and comes from a program that GM Ozzie Newsome certainly likes (Alabama), meaning he got some very good coaching back in college. So there could be a diamond in that rough.
McClain's had issues on and off the field, there's no question about that. But the Ravens are just giving him a one-year deal, one that won't crush them financially. There's no question that this kind of contract is probably kind of a test for the linebacker. Let's face it, the Ravens want to see what they're getting, kind of which McClain shows up.
And not just which McClain shows up on game day. Which one shows up at practice. In meetings. At team activities. Who is this guy?
There's no question that Newsome and coach John Harbaugh will make it very clear what they expect of him this season. If not, he'll be gone or not much of a factor. But if they can keep him in line, and McClain shows what he's shown before, the Ravens will have won on their gamble.
If McClain can play as he's played in the past, he could be a big factor for the Ravens, who really need help at the linebacker position. McClain will want to play here because of Newsome and the team's history of success. And if McClain does well, he'll get a bigger contract here or somewhere else.