Report: Rolando McClain nearing deal with Ravens


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.

103 responses to “Report: Rolando McClain nearing deal with Ravens

  1. Is there a better GM than Ozzie? What a stud. There is no one better in this business. Witness greatness and dont hate, appreciate

  2. A guy who is 23 and has the physical skill set to become a great player…Id take him. Im sure a change of scenery will help this guy. Still a lot of time to grow up.

  3. Actually this pales in comparison to the Steelers offseason – heck they signed Plaxico Burress and Bruce Gradkowski and brought in Bradshaw for a visit! – Talk about some game changers!

  4. As long as the contract money is mainly based on performance, bringing him in won’t hurt. Obviously the Great and Powerful Oz sees something most others do not. The Ravens do not have a great history of picking up ex-Raiders. Fabian Washington comes to mind. But this guy won both the Lambert and the Butkus awards, so maybe there is something to him. The Raiders claimed he was a liability against the pass.

  5. “brilliant” I wouldn’t say that but good luck to him at least we will be able to watch him jog around the field in a different uniform this season

  6. gochargersgo says:
    Apr 10, 2013 8:51 AM
    With Ray lewis gone, the ravens were sorely missing a violent criminal in the middle of their defense to intimidate opponents.


    Oh look! Another unfunny and ignorant post from someone who clearly knows nothing about what happened in Atlanta! How I’ve missed those!

    That said, I don’t know how I feel about this signing. I realize McClain is still very, very young, the Raiders are where any football career goes to die, and the Ravens still have leadership in place to keep McClain in check, but there’s no guarantee he has the motivation or athleticism to fit in with the rest of the group.

  7. @GoNavyBeatArmy

    As someone who only writes negative comments on other teams articles and spends most of his time cracking on Baltimore, I just want you to know that the Ravens are STILL world champs, Joe Flacco is STILL the superbowl MVP, and Ray Lewis STILL went out on top of the football universe just weeks after Ngata snapped your boy Griffin’s leg like a twig. I don’t usually drop to your type’s level like this, but for the past year or so you make it a goal to spew hateful/biased fill crap on any and every Ravens article that come’s across the wire. No one cares about you, the Washington Racial Slurs, or about some crappy Navy football. P.S. The Ravens are STILL world champs…LOL

  8. It’s funny how the comments have taken a 180 from the Bengals article about this guy to the Ravens article. On the Bengals article all the comments were saying “oh what a great fit for the bengals” and “one more criminal to add to the list”, etc. Now it’s “Low risk, high reward” and “Ozzie is the best GM in the sport”. Please you guys are hypocrites. I’m sure JoeToronto will come in here blowing Ozzie for this signing after he blasted the Bengals for taking a flyer on this guy. Shows his ignorance.

  9. The risk to reward ratio is pretty high here. Top 10 pick a fews years ago and only 23 yrs old. What do the Ravens have to lose? Excellent signing by Ozzie. Hes always doing his homework on players and 99% of the time he hit the nail on the head.

  10. When the Bengals were looking at this guy all of the comments were “of course the Bungles are looking at him, they need more convicts” or “guy would fit right in with all their criminals”. Now that the Ravens are going to sign him “it is a brilliant move”, “guy’s a stud!”, “Ozzie is a great talent evaluator”. Typical biased stuff. Until the Bengals get to the Super Bowl again they will get zero respect and I understand that, but damn.

  11. Unless Ray Lewis returns to mentor this kid, I’m not sure how good of a move. The Ravens let go of most leaders in the locker room, and their two greatest for sure are gone. Suggs is a loud mouth, not a vocal LEADER. The two are completely different. Hope he goes somewhere to get a fresh start, with a coach or player that can show him the right way.

  12. Not a fan of this move. He did not play well. And of course there are the off-field issues, even though all teams choose to overlook that stuff when it suits them.

  13. Can we stop with how “great” ozzie has handled this off season? Sure he’s a great GM, but this whole off season has been circumstance and coincidence. He got lucky with the Elvis Dumervill-fax snafu that lead to his release and signing by the ravens. He signs a failed ILB that has nothing but potential and problems. I’m not saying the ravens will have a bad year. But lets not make it out that he’s had these signing planned for months in advance.

  14. A lot of great football potential has gone into the “black hole” and wasted away. Maybe he’s getting out early enough to recover his skill set in a proven program defense like the Ravens. If they get him cheap enough, the upside is huge.

  15. This is an interesting move. It’s definitely got an up side, and a down side. It’s a move I would have expected to see the Pats make because they don’t shy away from players with baggage (to their credit, IMO.) For the Ravens, who like to tout “character” when it suits them, it’s a more controversial move. It’ll be interesting to see how it works out.

  16. This guy is a bust on 31 teams but oh no not the ravens. Now he is a stud and future all pro talent lol you guys crack me up. Hypocrisy at its finest

  17. For the LAST time, Ellerbe was not a starting LB last season. IF Lewis and McClain we not hurt, he wouldnt have made it on the field. The guy got 600k/year less than P. Willis.

    Rolando is hugely talented, but has some off the field issues. Seems like a guy that can benefit from going to an organization that has more discipline and control over their players. Something the Ravens have prided themselves on. Here, Green Bay, NE, and a few others would be great fits for this guy.

  18. Nice work Ravens…

    Replacing a Hall of Famer with a troubled washout that even the Bengals felt was too risky.

  19. Oh boy, another free agent signing. Good luck with that continuity on defense. It may look decent on paper, but you still have to go out there and play the games. Trust me, I’ve had to endure this crap for over 25 years with the skins.

  20. HAHA Ravens, making moves, signing Oakland’s garbage defensive players, because they were amazing for the Raiders! Huff is awful in coverage, and tackles too high, gets trucked and misses tackles left and right because of it. McClain chooses the wrong gap literally 9 times out of 10, takes the worst angles known to man, and couldn’t cover me. I would know better than most of you considering I have had to watch both of these guys play for my team. I’m truly sorry for what you’re about to be exposed to, hopefully Ozzie wises up and they only stay for a season. May god have mercy on your souls, no playoffs for you guys btw. Your defense will be awful.

  21. Dude is maybe worth a one year prove it deal, but even then I’m skeptical of someone who is has displayed such consistently poor behavior.

  22. ok i dont know what to do first, but im allmost ready let me know what i have to do and where i have to be.i didnt have any i”dea but now my eyes are open help me out

  23. Name ONE former Raider that lit it ups signing with the Ravens.

    Chris Carr didnt, Fabian Washington didnt, and neither will Huff OR McClain.

    McClain was a an out of shape horrific cover LB that was a 2 down LB that needed a dominant defense around him, and he’ll have about HALF of that with Lewis, Ellerbe, Kruger and Ed Reed gone.

    You’ll see Raven fan.

  24. long time steeler fan hear, hats off to the ravens. sounds like they had a great plan in place, but on the other hand the steelers. was that terry bradshaw they brought in or charley bradshaw.

  25. Just a shame that he gets to keep his money from the Raiders, but just glad he is gone. However, he was never a good fit for the 4-3 in Oakland, they never should have drafted him, it was a gamble. Rolando is strictly a 3-4 linebacker, and I think he will play well for the Ravens and fit into their system. Granted he is not the second coming of Ray Lewis, but I think he will be successful there as long as he grows up and quits screwing up outside of football.

  26. I write this with the best of intent Ravens fans.
    I’ve seen every game this boy has played in the pros.

    He has no instincts….can Ozzie teach instinct?

    If the ball carrier runs right into Rolando, then he can lay the lumber on him.

    Good luck

  27. This signing is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is if the Ravens can get the refs not to call penalties late in games, like in the SB.

  28. Ravens fans if you wanna say Ray Lewis is innocent, you also have to say the same about Casey Anthony. Not sure you wanna go down that road.

  29. Low risk high reward for the Ravens. Now get Lewis to be his life coach. Get him to lift some wieghts and adopt a workout program in general. He shrank when he came to the raiders. He’s only 23. Good Luck Mcclain. Turn your life around.

    No sour grapes RAIDER NATION!!!!!!
    We are looking forward not backward

  30. What does this say about how Carlos Dansby is viewed around the league?

    Taking a shot at an LB with some real off field issues and sub par performances vs an older (and more costly) but established front line player.

    Seems Ireland’s play for Ellerbe was spot on.

  31. Haha Steelers will run up the score on these chumps! They think they got better. That’s a joke. No leaders on this team at all.thanks for gift wrapping the AFC North for the mighty Steelers!!

  32. So does that mean Bryan Hall is moving back to his DT position on the practice squad, or is McClain going to play safety or running back or something.

    Someone please take away Oz’s DVD of the Waterboy. This is getting embarrassing.

  33. Good luck to the kid. Showed a little promise but not much in the way of leadership and good decision making at the Raiders. Would be a nice story if he succeeds in Baltimore.

  34. Its essentially like drafting an ILB in the draft. Only 23 years old, yes he has had some problems, but you people always criticize these guys for off the field problems, and then never give them credit for their ability. This guy is a good talent, just needs a system (Bart Scott, Adalius Thomas, Dawan Landry, Kelly Gregg, Cory Redding, Jarret Johnson, etc.). Ozzie got a top talent without even drafting anyone. This allows us in essence to draft a WR 1st round and wait til the second to dip into the deep safety class. Ozzie-1 Rest of the NFL-0

  35. Congrats Ravens, you now have two key pieces of the 2012 Raiders defense in Huff and McClain.

    The 3-4 is probably a better fit for Slowlando so the Ravens might get some better production right there. And as long as they are not asking him to be a leader then it might not be a bad signing. Hopefully he checks his attitude at the door and grows up a little. There are still questions about his motivation and hustle though. Good luck.

  36. I love how Ravens fans think that they added some high profile guys but they are nothing close to what they lost…..There is such a thing as leadership and thats what you guys really lost on the defensive side of the ball……You can add all the pieces you want but in the end you need leadership and chemistry, just ask the eagles.

  37. Ravens fans let’s be real…

    Did a change of scenery help players like T.O.? If this were a signing by the Steelers you’d be crying another classless player on a classy organization. Stay classy. This kid cashed his own ticket out of the Raiders organization. THE RAIDERS!!! They are praying for any kind of talent on that team. Low raise high reward. Dude gets cut by mid-season. He is just another warm body that you will all get excited about and not pan out.

  38. All this leadership talk and just last year it was those same “leaders” who were too old and too slow. Now all of a sudden were going to miss them and their ability to “lead”? Hah! Those same individuals were the ones missing tackles, getting penalties and giving up points. You can’t have it both ways haters, you simply just have to appreciate the greatness of the best GM in the league and bow down to our superiority. Cheers!

  39. Let’s not forget about the other McClain already there – Jameel. It could be fun to see “the McClains” together in the middle with “the Doom” and T-sizzle on the outsides.

    Seems to me with this and Hall along with the ILBs still there the Ravens are building up that position without the draft. Maybe that means they’re going safety or WR early.

    Not too thrilled about a troubled player but I think the team has the leadership intact to handle it. Yes haters I do think they will be more than a wandering group of sheep on Defense.

    Go Ravens. Cheers!

  40. Good luck with replacing Ray Lewis and Ed Reed with Rolando McClain and Michael Huff. The Ravens better hope Flacco is as good as the money they’re paying him. I see 3rd place in their future.

  41. In Ozzie We Trust! good moves so far. Got rid of all your pieces of the puzzle. Got rid of your leaders.No leadership now. And taking Al Davis’s trash. LOL! What’s funny is your trying to replace Ray with another gangster. But this time your crab cakes out of luck. Cheers!

  42. With these additions to the defense they should be top 10 against the run and top 15 against the pass. Better defense than last years. Hope we stay healthy because last year the injury bug bit us hard.

  43. You Raider bashers are just so pathetic…like they had their collective finger on the trigger and made him squeeze a round off next to that guy’s head.

    You really think the same thing wouldn’t have happened if he played for your team? Idiots.

  44. “What a Stud” please….just…please….guy can’t turn his hips and run to save his life, ESPECIALLY sideline to sideline. Terrible in coverage and his first step usually happens after the play is over. He’s also a quitter, but “Great Sign”!

  45. You guys are too funny!

    1. Redskins or what ever their name will be when forced to abandon it, have been a non-factor in the NFL for the past decade. Your going no where anytime soon. Ravens rule the Maryland market!

    2. Ravens have made good tactical moves which have positioned them to make a strong run to repeat as Super Bowl Champions.

    3. 11 draft picks to stockpile talent like WE always do. There is a reason we lead the league in compensatory pick boys…every one wants players who have played for the BEST franchise inthe NFL…PERIOD!!!

  46. ray lewis will show at camp and have a little
    talk with this dude[if he signs] im sure….

  47. In the play pictured, McClain flat blew UP Sproles. Youtube it.

    I predict Rolando will have a nice career in Baltimore and return to the playmaker he was before Al spoiled him rotten. That locker room had to be the worst in football, if not sports in general.

  48. I find it rich how within the past 4 weeks, 80% of talkers on Ravens threads aren’t even Ravens fans….. and to boot, they say things like “I like how Ravens fans say this and say that.” If you don’t like it, do all of us a favor then- stay off our threads and stick to your team’s FA activity posts, or lack-there-of….D bags.

  49. I’m hoping The Steelers jump in at the last minute and sign him. They should let the Pats have Sanders(saves 1.3mil) plus rescind Redmans tender to sign McClain,Bradshaw & Breaston. I’d look into acquiring Deon Lewis for a late pick instead of signing Bradshaw.

  50. If only the Washington D.C Team would quit using such a disgusting racist term to describe their team.

    Our Native Americans should march on DC and take care of things they way they used to take care of things. Then the name would cahange to something more appropriate…like the PINK CHICKENS.

  51. The ideal reclamation project, if they can get this kid focused they have a beast on their hands

  52. For those criticizing this move, you do realize that he’s not expected to be a star, right? The Ravens already have stars on defense in Ngata, Suggs, Dumervil, and, potentially, Webb. Just like with other signings this offseason like Canty and Spears, McClain is being brought in to be a role player. His job will be to stop the run on 1st and 2nd downs. You guys do know the difference between a role player and a key contributor, right? If so, then I’m not sure how you criticize bringing in a guy with enough talent to be drafted top 10 just 3 years ago to be a role player. Say it with me: ROLE PLAYER.
    And unless you’re a Raider fan, or somebody that has watched most of the Raiders games over the past 3 years, your opinion of Huff or McClain has zero substance.

  53. Very smart signing.
    Ozzie deserves credit once again. Picking up a bargain with that kind of potential?
    It’s just too bad Lewis/Reed aren’t there to get his head on straight but I imagine Harbaugh is more than capable.

  54. good replacement for Ray Lewis. One criminal 4 for another.
    The only difference is Lewis was a Good LB but McClain has shown that he is slow in coverage and over doesn’t know how to stop the run.

  55. All non Ravens fans, show some level if intelligence and move on from “criminal” talk. It is so old and played out. The problem is your front offices and teasm are so bad, you have nothing to look forward to each season, so you try to infuse anger from Ravens fans by reverting back to events over 10 years ago.

    Time to move on, maybe you want to come on over to ourside and join the Ravens Nation!!

  56. Ravens Nation…LOL
    Everyone knows the Raider Nation is the only Nation… get your own slogan.

  57. So the Bengals don’t sign another convict, or even troublesome player, and they get comments that they are dumb for doing so.
    The Ravens are going to hire a player who has had off field issues, hasn’t played well on field, yet is a good pickup by Ozzie. This is the same GM who let half of his starting D leave after the Super Bowl, your top wideout is now gone, and you don’t have any insurance for your star tailback. Good luck repeating.

  58. Never been a big fan of the term Ravens Nation. Personally prefer Birdland since I like showing love for the Ravens and O’s.

    In the end, all of these names and phrases are created just to sell t-shirts and other merchandise.

  59. Ozzie Newsome is the best GM in the game. As a Dolphin fan, I’m very jealous.

  60. Rolondo McLain lo let Raider fans tell you, the guy is pathehic both on and off the field. Where is the upside in that?. If he indeed signs i count a lot of callers on 105.7 screaming what the hell lol.

  61. Just great. Like we don’t have enough crime in Baltimore already.

    Cue a scene from The Wire: “Yo! Rolando’s Coming!”

  62. ravenator
    You best worry about the Bungles madam, cause the Lers are rebuilding just like you did in 2005 was it?

  63. raiders nation?

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    That nation no loger exisits, it crumbled…ha ha ha !!

    Let’s go Ravens Nation!!

  64. Actions speak louder than words. And Ro’s (in)actions said it all in Oakland. He’s a head case. Loaded glocks to the side of a man’s head… execution style? You can have it…

  65. Sounds likea nice uprade to me!!1

    “Pro Football Focus gave McClain positive grades against the run in each of his three NFL seasons. And for comparison sake, his plus-9.8 rating in that area in 2012 was better than its grades for Ray Lewis, Dannell Ellerbe and Jameel McClain, both individually and combined. He missed just three tackles. And PFF also says Rolando McClain made a tackle resulting in a defensive stop on 11.4 percent of running plays last season, which was eighth best among inside linebackers who played at least 25 percent of the their team’s defensive stats.”

  66. You must be the SB champion when everyone and his brother comment on your blogs. Who are these people? This is very low risk very high reward. If he doesn’t play harbs football he is gone. Personally, I would have rather tried to sign dansby. But I’m sure he wanted real money.

    Finally at logical voice. In the last decade, we have won 2 sb’s and been to the afc championship four times. The redskins on the other hand have not been relevant since the Cold War when mommy was changing your diaper.

  67. Raider Nation is world wide and always around during good times and bad…
    Win Lose Or Tie
    Raiders Till I Die!!!
    i bet you copy that slogan too….

  68. Up next, Jamarcus Russell as qb for the Ravens. Key the ravenator stating how great Russell is. and the Ravens are going down,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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