Rolando McClain: I’m focusing on getting my personal life together


On Wednesday night, a source close to linebacker Rolando McClain told PFT that McClain’s decision to retire was spurred by a desire to clean up his personal life before thinking about getting back onto a football field.

On Thursday, McClain told the world the same exact thing. McClain released a statement to PFT and other media outlets on Thursday explaining why he told the Ravens he was retiring.

“Clearly, my decision to retire has raised some questions,” McClain said in the statement. “Quite simply, I love football, but I have decided at this time it is in my best interest to focus on getting my personal life together. Beyond that, I’m not sure what the future holds for me, including football. This was entirely my decision and the Ravens have been very supportive during this process. I am very grateful for the opportunity they gave me and wish them the best of luck in the future. God willing, maybe I’ll play for them one day.”

The Ravens placed McClain on the Reserve/Retired list, so they will hold onto his rights while the linebacker takes care of his personal life. Should he resolve the legal cases still pending against him and avoid any further additions to his rap sheet, it seems like a pretty good bet that the 23-year-old will turn back to the game he says he loves at some point in the future.

53 responses to “Rolando McClain: I’m focusing on getting my personal life together

  1. This might be the smartest thing he’s ever done. Get away from football, focus on getting your act together, come back and hopefully resurrect your career.

  2. For all the ridicule this guy has (deservingly) brought upon himself, this is a decision that I truly respect. It takes some perspective to walk away from the only thing you know, a job that pays handsomely, to try to fix what’s wrong in your life. Here’s hoping he gets it together. Not for the Ravens, or for football, but for himself.

  3. And while you’re at it, see if ya can get Titus Young’s personal life straightened out too.

  4. Hoping this is a true sign of him becoming a bit more mature. Within a few months, we’ll see if he means it or if he was putting a happy face on it. Let’s hope he never sees the back of a police cruiser again. Odds are, he will be the same knucklehead he’s always been. But, if he can turn his life around, that’s awesome. Football or no football, having one less guy acting like a jerk can only be a good thing. Best of luck, Ro, hope you truly mean what you’re saying….. Dubious but hopeful.

  5. This clown is going back to Decatur, AL where all his issues stem from. All he is going to do is get in more trouble. Don’t believe me, look at his criminal jacket and look at his arrests and see where they all seem to happen.

  6. getting it together is not necessarily easier with an NFL contract. not only does the money bring additional complications and distractions, but having to focus on football will also prevent him from taking significant steps to help himself if needed.

  7. Before you go head over heels respecting this guy ravensteps, consider that he knows he is about to take a suspension anyway, and this can be summed up as more cowardice than anything else. Dude is a liar and a moron.

  8. Nice job Ozzie….way to pick em! Why don’t you just put up the bail money for Titus while your at it.

  9. Not to belittle a guy trying to better himself, but how much focus is necessary to not break the law? It seems like staying out of ‘bama is the main step and he could do that while “working” and still getting paid $700k

  10. Every morning when you wake up, just tell yourself, “I will not get arrested today. I will not get arrested today.”
    I mean, seriously, how hard can it be to make a conscious effort to abide by the laws of the land?

  11. Note to self: First thing I need to do to get my personal life together is stop hitting people and threatening them with guns.

  12. if he can stand back enough to see that he needs to get his act together, that’s a good sign. hopefully it’ll stay that way and he can make the most of it.

  13. The Ravens are a classy org, the Pats could learn a thing or two from them. I hope this kid can get his act together, though untraditional I like the approach he’s taking.

  14. Good luck with that, Ro. And I mean that in all sincerity, not in the sarcastic sense. Truly talented player, and I’m sure that if he cleans up his act, Ozzie will give him another look.

    As for those saying this is the future for Alabama players–that’s just silly. Alabama is among the five most represented schools in the NFL Hall of Fame, and recent Bama players are working successfully on teams throughout the league, including the Raiders and Ravens. Gee whiz, kids, get your facts straight … and grow up.

  15. its not fair to judge anyone without understanding their circumstances..even as a paying fan or knowing that he’s been convicted of criminal behaviour, nothing entitles us to judge.

  16. Good for him. As A Ravens fan, he’d have been a distraction right now anyway. I hope he gets it together. How many knuckleheads in the NFL haven’t decided to step away and get their acts together? He’s young enough that he can do this. Good on ya.

  17. The NFL has gotten involved with all sorts of player health issues. Maybe it would be a good idea for them to set up a Criminals Anonymous group that those players who can’t seem to leave the street life behind, could turn to. I mean this in a serious way. Think about it. These guys go to college to learn football (some also learn other skills as well). But college isn’t a place to learn moral values (BYU and ND excepted). Then they get to the pros, with its money, fame, and umpteen ways to get into trouble. They never learned the basics of societal norms at the “out of the hood” level, but society wants them to live as “one of us”. How?

    Tom Brady probably never lived “on the streets” and isn’t likely to get involved with felonious behavior. But for a lot of these guys, that is what they know, away from football. There should be a venue, to help them “graduate”. But not a government sponsored venue.

    A life, is a terrible thing to waste.

  18. If this guy just focused on football he wouldn’t be retiring and explaining to the world why. Football can give this guy the focus & discipline he is sorely lacking. Money is this guy’s worst enemy.

  19. It’s almost sounds like he figuring things out. But I think he missed a huge opportunity to show he “gets it” by not thanking the Raiders. They drafted him 8 overall and paid him a hefty sum. To not acknowledge that fact when he is basically admitting he doesn’t have his crap together is a bit of a failure. If you’re going to take responsibility, go all the way. He stopped short and that’s somewhat disappointing.

    Good luck though.

  20. He failed to thank the Raiders for drafting him in the Top 10 and giving him all that guaranteed $$$ which he basically stole ala JaMarcus Russell.

    I hope he gets it together and plays in the league again, but for now he is just a punk who didn’t fulfill his end of the deal.

    Beat it rags.

  21. Putting away your life long dreams to get your personal life together, much respect to him. Putting a desire aside for a priority can be difficult, I wish him and his family the best.

  22. Now McClain (and his friends) can view himself from the prism of just being a young guy out in the world trying to get himself together, rather than being viewed as an NFL player. This may help him some.

  23. twilson962 says: May 16, 2013 4:21 PM

    Good to hear. Hope he can get it together. But it has to be a little easier to do with an NFL contract.
    I agree with you 100% on your first 66%. But NFL contracts mean money and money means distractions. McClain needs to get an accountant to help manage his money for the future; then put his life back together; then try to get back to football. What young football players need more than anything is help being smart with their money and a veteran mentor in the locker room to keep them on the right track. I really want Tyrann Mathieu to succeed, but he will certainly have an easier time if Bruce Arians puts his locker next to Larry Fitzgerald’s. McClain never had anyone like that in Oakland.

  24. This guy made a similar statement right after signing his deal with the Ravens. 10 days later…well you guys know the rest of the story. Buy or sell his references to “maturity”? I think I’ll pass.

    Ravens D will be fine without him.

  25. cassrangers says: May 16, 2013 4:34 PM

    This is the future of ex-Alabama football players… get used to it.
    I will always hate ‘Bama (War Damn Eagle), but where is this coming from?

    If we only go back ten years, you’ve got Chris Samuels (model citizen), Shaun Alexander (model citizen), Roman Harper (model citizen), DeMeco Ryans (team captain since age 15), Le’Ron McClain (guilty of being related to Rolando), Mark Ingram, Javier Arenas (guilty of being NFL disappointments) Julio Jones, Donta Hightower, Courtney Upshaw (young, but so far, so good).

    Trent Richardson (OK, that’s me: 10, you: 1)

    If you concede that Alabama players are not all terrible people (as much as I wish they were), I’ll concede that (nearly) all Auburn players are busts.

  26. His agent wrote a very nice statement with perfect English and grammar. If you’ve ever heard Rolando speak, you know there’s no way he could have written that statement.

  27. You can’t just jog away from your past, McClain!

    There are consequences to your actions.

    Get ready to update the ARREST METER soon.

  28. My guess is he spent his off season screwing around and realized that he wasn’t in any kind of shape to win a roster spot with the Ravens.
    Instead of failing, he decided to quit.
    He won’t be back.

  29. papertiger418 says: May 16, 2013 7:05 PM

    You can’t just jog away from your past, McClain!

    There are consequences to your actions.

    Get ready to update the ARREST METER soon.
    1. But why can’t he try?
    2. I think he’s already faced those consequences.
    3. But we’re almost at twenty… I don’t think I’ve seen that before.

    McClain has lost an NFL career worth tens of millions, been to jail, and lost most of the money he had already made. Being abandoned by a criminally-insane single mother at age 15 is no excuse for his behavior (OK it’s kind of an excuse), but the guy has already lost everything, why would you continue to root against him?

  30. Maybe you should clear your conscience and focus on giving the Raiders back the $25 million you scamed them out of making them think you were a quality person and loved the game of football. All you really do is love yourself, your words mean nothing anymore. You hit the lottery and gave nothing in return.

    I hope I never see you play in the NFL again. (N)OT (F)OR (L)ONG ===Loser.

  31. @kenstabler …

    Don’t blame you for being bitter. I’d feel the same if the Steelers had signed a player for that kind of money and gotten so little out of him. But it’s ironic to read those comments coming from someone using the name “Ken Stabler” because the Snake would probably be more forgiving. He’s walked some rough road and gotten a few second chances himself. We all fall short, man. McClain didn’t set out to be a failure.

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