Ravens agree with Rolando McClain


The Ravens and former Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain have come to terms on a one-year, $700,000 contract, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Wednesday.

The Raiders released the 23-year-old McClain last week after three seasons with the club. He had a disappointing 2012 campaign, one marked by a two-game team suspension for detrimental conduct.

McClain, who was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2010 draft, recorded 62 tackles in 11 games (nine starts) a season ago. The previous season, he racked up a career-best 99 tackles and five sacks.

McClain projects inside in the Ravens’ base 3-4 scheme. The Ravens lost two of their key performers at the position earlier this year when Ray Lewis elected to retire and Dannell Ellerbe signed a lucrative multi-year deal with the Dolphins.

In many ways, this is a crossroads moment in McClain’s NFL career. There is a real opportunity for playing time in Baltimore, perhaps even as one of the two starters inside. If he fares well in 2013, he will hit free agency at just 24 years old. But if he struggles in Baltimore, it would be a real setback in a career that has already failed to meet expectations.

72 responses to “Ravens agree with Rolando McClain

  1. Bet this turns out to be another good signing for the Ravens. Rolando has the talent–what he needs is the right environment. The Ravens can provide that.

  2. Oh ya… here comes the Oz is God proclamation. Bringing in a 23 year old/under performing discipline case is brilliant.

  3. Ain’t this the same dude who shot his pistol off next to someones ear?? I could be mistaken.

  4. Another great move by Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens. There are reasons why Baltimore has been so successful for pretty much their entire existence, and this is another example. No risk, high potential reward.

  5. Best front office in the league no doubt about it. Hate on haters. Our reign of terror will continue. Cheers!

  6. Great pick up and for very cheap! Bottom line is if he turns out to have a great season the Ravens will resign him….Plus he’s only 23 years old!! I feel bad for players who get stuck on organizations that have no leadership from players or the front office. Lets see what he can do in Baltimore. The Ravens have really done a great job picking up defensive players from free agency, the def already looks better on paper than last season.

  7. I feel like the Ravens really undervalued Dannell Ellerbee. The ILB spot in the D was a huge question mark, so they’re fortunate McClain fell right into their laps.

    Big IF, but if they can get him on track I think he’ll be a huge steal, especially at his discounted price.

  8. I hope he gives a better effort for Baltimore.

    Al Davis gave him an opportunity and he squandered it.

    Hopefully the young man gets his head straight and goes on to have a productive career.

    Go Raiders

  9. I really thought he was going to jump on the N.E. rehab program. Would have been a typical signing. Joining the all SEC Linebacking crew. Hightower, Spikes, McClain, Mayo. Dirty.

    Although *potentially pairing Talib, Spikes HoneyBadger, Dennard, McClain together on D would look more like a police lineup. Nasty though.

  10. Ozzie is the best in business.

    $700K is chump change, and he’s on a short leash, if he doesn’t want to be team-player.

  11. My biggest fear is that he becomes the dominant player in Baltimore that he failed to be with the Raiders. Since he’s entering a co tract year of sorts, he’ll likely go hard. Go figure.

  12. I would rather have Curry if I have to pick busts. He is a slow player that is not smart, it’s a bad combo.

  13. Not a bad signing. The price and the term make it a low risk, high reward deal. This guy was use to being a winner in college and went to a team that has stunk and made terrible front office moves and I think he may have had his spirit broken a bit. Still no excuse for making bad choices but you never know what will happen when your head is not right. We’ll have to wait and see where he gets his head. He has talent he just needs to get focused and apply it. Go Ravens!

  14. the classic example why the nfl needed a rookie salary cap….as the old saying goes….”now you have to earn it!”

  15. Deb: disagree (possibly). Remains to be seen how the leadership of the Ravens will be without Ray leading the D. Not to mention Reed being gone too. I don’t see any other leaders other than maybe Suggs, but doubt he has the chops of their old vets.

  16. Very low risk, with a potential high reward!! Must say the ravens front office has impressed thus far. They cut or let go some aging players and picked up some solid additions… Canty, Spears, Dumervil, Huff, and McLain. Now they are not so pressed for need in draft and can go with best available!!

  17. You know he hasn’t had a lick of coaching since Saban had him.

    He’s probably an All Pro in waiting.

  18. I’m surprised Ozzie took him in. Generally the Ravens avoid guys with poor work ethic. Without Lewis there to put his nose in the playbook, in the LB meetings teaching the tape, and in the locker room in his ear McClain just doesn’t seem to have the blue collar character that makes the team what it is. With everyone that left I’m wondering who will take the role of leadership on that defense.

  19. Very low risk. Very very high reward. If the guy pans out or shines he gets a contract or tagged. But at least here he won’t be expected to be the man fr kp street. With Suggs, ngats , Webb and others McClain becomes just another guy. If this gives him the chance to grow under minimal stress and pressure. All the better. I really like the work Ozzie and the front office have done this winter. Now he has 12 picks to really fill the team during the draft.

  20. Great signing… Rolando has tons of potential… In an organization like the Ravens he will finally play up to his potential.

    This may not be a good signing for other teams, but the Ravens way of doing things and that locker room will get him right!

  21. I’m not doing cartwheels, and I don’t think this is such a great move, but for the price, it’s an okay enough deal. He has a LOT to prove, and I would not say at this point that the odds are in his favor. He’s like a 1 year rental/project for the vet minimum. I’ll be glad to be wrong about this, but at the moment I’m not sold.

  22. I love the “what he needs is the right environment” comments. At some point you are responsible for the environment you’re in. And if you don’t recognize the problem, you just might be the problem.

    Touted as a leader out of college he was drafted at that position with those expectations. He failed to live up to those expectations. He didn’t put in the neccessary work. It is nobody’s fault but Rolando’s. Time for some accountability out of these guys. They are paid like men, time to act like men. Most guys are expected to act like men at 18. Check the military for reference.

    Good luck to Rolando, I hope he succeeds. But I’m tired of people blaming it on the Raiders or the “environment”. That is a cop out. Time to grow up and be accountable.

  23. I’d thought I’d never see it! The Ravens has finally hit rock bottom in scouting talent! Trouble always finds Rolando McClain..

  24. I don’t think the Ravens signed him to be their next all pro. Ravens fans will know better than me, but reading the headline I assumed he was a stop-gap for them to draft someone in the next few years to groom.

  25. Love it…it is not Rolando McClain. It is a player with a chip on his shoulder. Players come to Baltimore because they know the best play there.

    Oakland is now officially Cleveland West.

  26. The money makes the signing a lot better but stop kidding yourself that you signed some stud that was just in the wrong fit. He is slow, always in the wrong spot AND has off field issues

  27. reggie mckenzie has proven he is the worst GM in the league watch McClain light it up this year.

  28. Oh and for the ones claiming All Pro, as long as Willis and Bowman, Cushing, Daryl Washington, Lauranitis, Bobby Wagner and several others (who are better now than Mclain even has the potential for) are still in the league it’s never gonna happen. Not being a hater, just being honest. I think Washington is 3rd best in the league, Wagner and Lauranitis top 10. Unfortunately they are all in the NFCW. All 3 would be perennial pro bowlers in the AFC

  29. Not totally sold on this move but it’s low risk. If it doesn’t work early in camp, cut him loose. If it works, it’s a steal. Still wanna draft 2 ILBs.

  30. Not of fan of the move. Huge Ravens fan. McLain has been a bust. He got the opportunity based in age and potential. Question is does Baltimore have the leaders to keep him in line? Ray Lew and Reed are gone. Hope I am wrong and he turns it around. Forget his character issues, he has sucked on the field

  31. No every players starts, you have different defensive rotations, special teams, etc. — good pickup.

  32. Keep hearing this SLOW baloney…check it out…he runs a 4.65 40 yard dash for a guy who is 6’4″ and 265 lbs. That’s faster than Anquan Boldin EVER ran.

  33. Yeah read some more blogs, visions of grandeur is with many Raven fans regarding Rolando…someone said “he’s a pro bowler in the making” and I like this one “Ozzie picking up good players on the cheap”…whoa

  34. How is anyone dissing Oz? How old are you people? It’s a ONE YEAR DEAL. $700,000… Really and you guys are gonna act like this is a bad move…. I guess that’s what you get with the other 31 second rate teams that didnt win the SB…

  35. At 700k they can cut him week 3 and lose virtually nothing. Take the chance. He will play a set that he played in college. Won’t hurt.

  36. for a 1 year deal paying under a million bucks to see if a kid that was drafted in the top 10 3 years ago is an good? sounds good to me. if he screws up or cant play what have the ravens lost? nothing. good luck rolando and welcome to baltimore. go ravens

  37. McClain, aside from being an idiot, doesn’t have the talent to a successful starter. For that price thay can use him as relief on obvious running downs, but forget about him covering a tight end, etc.

  38. This will go one of two ways:

    1- This kid will realize his NFL dream is hanging by a thread., he’ll come to training camp motivated, work his ass off and be the player he’s always should have been.

    2- He’ll be camp chum and wash out before the end of pre-season.

    Either way, it’s a ‘win’ for the Ravens to test drive a high upside Middle Linebacker

  39. I think everyone can agree how this works out is almost completely in the hands of McLain. There is almost no better situation for him to start over. It’s a solidly run team, a chance to start, and you can be assured Lewis will give home plenty of advice, if he asks. Lewis can tell him first hand what it will take to recover from bad off season stuff and build a HOF career. This is a gift for Rolando. If he screws it up he deserves all the hate coming his way.

    Skip all the stupid follow up comments about hiding knives or showing him how to cover it up. We can predict all the stupidity.

  40. Let me say I’m a huge ravens fan but some people’s responses make me mad. Yes, we won the superbowl but don’t talk all this crap like steelers fans, we are better than that. Yes, the steelers have more superbowl bowls but won’t have a team for a few years. This signing can’t hurt because of the possibilities. Oz is a great gm but can’t always make the right moves. Some ravens fans should learn the game and talk less. Go ravens sorry to all the true football fans for the ignorant responses.

  41. It takes a lot more effort and detetmination to be a good player than the player making a declaration he is now going to be a good player. Ray Lewis had the drive, possibly some other players on the roster have it but there has to be a dominant personality. Other good players on other teams have it, like Big Jen, drama aside. McClain has a lot to show, including how to dedicate yuourself and inspire others when things aren’t going the way you want. Not clear who us going to be the guy who gets in everyone’s face now and doesn’t let them wallow.

    Also, while getting good players for low salary is good strategy, this only works if the players can play. Mediocre players don’t help win games no matter what the salary cap.

    Jury will be out on this one until mid-season.

  42. Low risk but a one who thinks he will turn into some great pickup is crazy. The guy is just slow in space. You will see. My bet is he doesn’t play much except on running downs.

  43. so I’m guessing this is another great move by Newsome even tho last time they won a Superbowl they did this kind of thing and didn’t make the playoffs the next year. History repeats itself Bengals and Browns fight for the AFC North title

  44. I remember the same type of comments after the Ravens signed Jacoby, Graham and Consendine during last year’s offseason. The comments about Jacoby were especially fierce. All three were instrumental in the Super Bowl run. The front office is better at player personnel evaluations than any of the internet warriors on this forum. I’m still basking in the glow of the Lombardi to validate their moves. Right player right price. In Oz I trust.

  45. Not that i want to throw away your party but Slowlando is a low risk -low reward type and let me explain.

    – His athletic ability is limited
    – Hips too tight
    – Slow read and react player
    – He takes poor angles
    – If the play is not coming right at him there is a good chance he misses the tackle
    – Undisciplined player, likes to hit the wrong gap this means he has poor instincts
    – Not a very good coverage linebacker

    If you can’t believe me there is always his nfl “highlights” in youtube you’ll be dissapointed

    He is a borderline nfl player IMHO

  46. This is a guy who is a proven winner who sadly landed in the arm pit of the NFL…Seymour was the only coverage he had in a undisciplined 4-3 D. Now he is back in a 3-4 which he has proven himself successfully in. His size and skill traits will be a great addition behind what will be the best Dline in the league! Keep it up OZ!

  47. Stop blaming the Raiders for McClain’s lack of work ethic and character. He showed up at camp the first year with a chip on his shoulder and gave minimum effort all three years. Slow to the ball, he looked like he was jogging in slow motion (hence the “Slolando” moniker). This was not the Raiders fault, this was Rolando’s fault. That, plus going back to hang with his gangbanger friends at every opportunity.

    Since everybody and his uncle had him ranked in the top 10, including the Ravens and Giants, why is it the Raiders fault that he copped an attitude from day one, took the money and mailed it in? Just lay the blame where it belongs. On him.

  48. actually sanfran you are wrong. the last time the ravens won the super bowl ozzie kept all the high priced vets and tried to repeat. ravens made the playoffs and lost in the second round and then had a massive cap purge with lots of dead money on the books. this year the ravens arent over spending. the younger guys like kruger and ellerbe got better deals elsewhere and the vets with high numbers or were free agents were offered lower deals. the ravens were able to replace those high salaries with good players at below market value due to the cap not really going up. with 12 draft picks and lots of young talent to develop the ravens will be fine for years to come. especially with our centerpiece franchise qb locked up. go ravens

  49. Could it be that Rolando McClain was just a product of his Environment? Bad Coaching, Bad team, Bad Choices, lead to Bad Play(er). As my name indicates I am A Staunch ALABAMA FAN! His college play far outweighs his pro play, however, he played for Saban. Sabans technique breeds high Caliber play and even alot of Alabama former players wind up on practice squads with a chance to break out as consumate pros. I will give a little slack here, and, with the right atmosphere, direction, and coaching, He just might surprise a few folks.

    @sfranfanyouknowit….. In 2001 the Ravens DID NOT clean house. They kept the team together for the most part and it destroyed them a few years later. I believe they choose not to make the same mistake twice. Look it up. As for your comments about the Browns and Cinci, ehhh, I see where you are coming from. Losing that Super Bowl still stings huh?

  50. Oz has now locked up Canty, Dumervil, Huff, and McClain for less than what the Brown stains gave Kruger. Hilarious and pure business genius. Wharton should just give Oz an honorary MBA.

  51. Another huge loser! Won’t be long before he’ll have some huge problem with guns or booze or both. A real piece of work, but not a very good football player. Hell, Ray Lewis, who couldn’t run a lick at the end, would beat this guy’s forty running backwards! Don’t want him…don’t need him.

  52. If the Steelers would of signed this guy a 100 Ratbird fans would be saying how much fun it is to watch the Steelers demise. Ratbird fans you are the biggest hypocrites in the world!

  53. Mclain has admitted his mistakes and hopes to become a better player and better person. He has not chosen to hide behind a veil of secrecy and hope the scandal will fade away while his lawyers do the dirty work behind the scenes. BYW, it’s “would have” or “would’ve.”

  54. Hey bigbenlosesinthenfl if McClain signed with the Steelers then all the Steeler fans would proclaim the Steelers can set him straight and Colbert is the best. You’d call him the Ray Rice stopper and tell us how Charlie Batch will beat us over the head with 6 Lombardi trophies. Don’t come onto a Raven themed thread and call anyone else a hypocrite.

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