It’s been five months since linebacker Rolando McClain told Baltimore Ravens president Ozzie Newsome he was retiring from the NFL. McClain had been given a second opportunity by the Ravens just a month earlier when the team signed him to a contract following his release from the Oakland Raiders.
McClain was arrested just 10 days after signing with the Ravens for disorderly conduct and decided to walk away from the game soon after. According to Seth Wickersham of ESPN.com, McClain has returned to Tuscaloosa, Ala. and is working to get his life together off the field.
McClain is going to class at the University of Alabama as he is working towards a degree in family financial planning and is working to stay in shape. After being selected by the Raiders in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, McClain immediately had friends and family come to him asking for financial assistance. He had signed a five-year deal for $40 million with $23 million guaranteed and people began asking for a piece of the pie.
McClain said friends from his hometown of Decatur began asking for money telling him he wouldn’t be where he is now without them. That led McClain to spend nearly $600,000 over a six-month span in trying to take care of those close to him.
McClain began to lose interest and football and no longer enjoyed playing the game. He became more and more frustrated with the game and the constant requests for money from back home. It led McClain to believe he was on the verge of doing something horrible.
“I was feeling like Aaron Hernandez or something,” McClain said, “like I just wanted to kill somebody.”
He felt he could very likely be headed toward the same fate as Hernandez of being led away in handcuffs and placed behind bars for an act he was going to commit. It’s what led him to leave the Ravens and return to Alabama.
McClain said he will “probably’ try to return to the NFL next season. If he does, the Ravens still retain his rights. McClain appeared in 41 games over three seasons for the Raiders and recorded 246 tackles over that span.