There have been rumors circulating that retired LB Rolando McClain is deciding to make a comeback and try to salvage the terrible start to his NFL career. Should the 26-year-old Alabama product actually pull himself out of retirement, the Baltimore Ravens have exclusive rights to him first before any NFL team. There are going to be plenty of questions circulating about McClain such as does Baltimore still want him? Can he keep out of the view of the media by staying out of confrontational off-the-field incidents? What kind of shape is he currently in, and has he taken care of all that needed to be attended to prior to returning to football?
Assuming the off-the-field issues have been taken care of and McClain is ready to return, the Ravens will have bolstered the LB corps with his addition and the signing of Daryl Smith to a long-term deal. He was a first-round pick who would have been stellar in this league with the right coach and mentor. Imagine McClain falling to the Ravens back in 2006 and being mentored and taught by the great Ray Lewis. We would be having an entirely different conversation about the veteran if that were the case. We would be discussing a franchise tag and possibly a long-term deal for a star LB. Instead, we’re here even wondering if he is worth the hassle of keeping on the roster.
McClain has had some off-the-field issues concerning family and videos have surfaced on the internet of him even beating someone up. If he is to continue playing in this league, not the Ravens nor Roger Goodell will tolerate such behavior. This dark past needs to be exactly that — the past — if he wants to play this game ever again, and I am sure coach John Harbaugh will make that abundantly clear should they decide to keep him.
Should the Ravens decide to keep the former first-round selection, they will need to ensure he is top physical condition and push him back into football shape. The Ravens are seeing one “McClain” exit and may be welcoming back another.
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