Rolando McClain's legal troubles have led him to become one of the league's most intriguing and polarizing players. On Wednesday, Ravens Nation was hit with yet another curveball on the McClain front when general manager Ozzie Newsome announced that the 23 year-old linebacker had decided to hang up the cleats and retire from the NFL. Fans and and analysts can only speculate as to what the reasons behind such a bizarre decision could be, but McClain himself released a statement about the decision on Thursday.
"Clearly my decision to retire has raised some questions. Quite simply, I love football, but I have decided that 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."
It seems that McClain's decision to retire, at least for now, may actually be in his best interest. It was his personal and legal troubles that cause the former first-round pick to be driven out of Oakland, and just 10 days after signing with the Ravens, McClain was arrested again on disorderly conduct charges and resisting arrest. Perhaps McClain's decision to put football on the back burner with the intention of getting his personal life in order is, in fact, a sign of maturity for a seemingly troubled and immature young man. I wish McClain the best of luck in his efforts to get his life on a straightened path, and hopefully he can indeed return to the NFL gridiron one day.