The Bengals flirted with making a bid for linebacker Rolando McClain, but it looks like one of their divisional rivals will be the ones to give McClain his second chance at NFL success.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Ravens are nearing a deal to sign McClain and will talk Wednesday in hopes of ironing out unresolved issues with the deal. The former first-round pick washed out in Oakland after three years filled with off-field messiness and underwhelming on-field performances, but that isn’t stopping the defending Super Bowl champs from taking a shot on the 23-year-old.
It helps that the Ravens lost both of their starting inside linebackers this offseason. With Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe gone, there’s a need for bodies at inside linebacker in Baltimore’s 3-4 set. That’s led them to move Bryan Hall from defensive tackle to the position and it explains why you’d take a shot on a change of scenery helping turn things around for a player that was very highly regarded coming out of Alabama.
That’s the alma mater of Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome as well, although it may just be a coincidence since the Ravens might be doing the same thing if McClain went to Auburn given their desire to add talent at inside linebacker. Whatever the equation that led McClain to Baltimore, he’s getting a golden opportunity to get his career back on track with the Ravens.