The former Alabama star linebacker, Rolando McClain, was released today. The once eighth overall pick of the NFL Draft was released after a series of "team-related issues" which one might speculate involved a war of mixed words with Dennis Allen due to the Head Coach's insistence on ambiguity in his press-statement on Wednesday and McClain citing being "mentally drained". Of course, this is just speculation, as I stated.
Upon hearing this news I had the same reaction that many of you probably had: "What?!". McClain was once considered to be the top LB prospect leading up to the 2010 NFL Draft, and even enjoyed moderate success in the NFL posting 244 tackles and 6.5 sacks in his first three seasons. While there have been conflicting reports on McClain's conditioning ability, thus his inability to stay on the field, this year (both of which have prevented him from being an every-down player) I don't see why that would lead to his release.
If the truth is that the "team-related issues" turn out to simply be that he was reluctant to stay in shape, I think he might be worth the Baltimore Ravens taking a shot on to bolster their weakened linebacker corps. However, comma, if this issues stem from a morale issue (i.e. a locker-room cancer) I think signing McClain would be detrimental to the Ravens whose chemistry seems to be at an all-time high after their resilient win last Sunday.
I firmly believe that there is still talent to be found in McClain, and if it's simply a matter of being out of shape and tired of the Oakland Raiders franchise (which honestly doesn't sound too outlandish to me) I think his problem can be solved with better trainers and a more respected organization. And even if he can't be an every down player, I still think he could be a decent contributor when the Ravens variate from their 3-4 package to their 4-3 package (which is his natural scheme anyways) as long as the price-tag isn't too exorbitant. But as I stated earlier, if McClain's issues turn out to be from a flawed character then the Ravens need to avoid him like the plague.
I'm sure we will discover new details ascertaining to McClain's release in the coming week or so, and as the story develops so will my point of view. As of right now, however, I think it would be silly not to at least look into the option (especially considering Ozzie Newsome's love for Alabama players).