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Linebacker Rolando McClain Passes Physical, Signs Contract

Posted Apr 12, 2013

Former Alabama teammate Terrence Cody is excited to reunite with his college captain.

Rolando McClain is officially a Raven.

The former Oakland Raiders linebacker passed his physical and signed a one-year contract with the Ravens on Friday. The contract was reportedly worth a base salary of $700,000, with playing time incentives of up to an additional $400,000, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Coming to Baltimore presents a second opportunity for the former Butkus Award winner and eighth-overall pick, who was released by the Raiders this offseason following a three-year stint in Oakland.

While McClain has struggled to live up to his expectations in the NFL, he had a reputation as a leader and hard worker during his college career at Alabama. With the Ravens he’ll now re-join former teammate Terrence Cody and Courtney Upshaw.

“When we were at Alabama, he always led,” Cody said. “He was a great leader. He’s just a hard, hard working guy. He’s always been a hard worker.”

He was released by the Raiders last week following a disappointing 2012 season. He has also dealt with off-the-field issues, including a two-game suspension last year for conduct deemed detrimental to the team.

McClain visited Baltimore on Friday to take his physical and reportedly met with General Manager Ozzie Newsome and Head Coach John Harbaugh.

The 23-year-old linebacker gives the Ravens a top-flight talent who could potentially take over one of the inside linebacker spots that opened up when Ray Lewis retired and Dannell Ellerbe went to Miami this offseason.

“Ray Lewis retired after winning the Super Bowl and I look to fill his slot,” McClain told the Madison Weekly News in Madison, Ala. “No one can fill his shoes, but I can fill his slot. I just want to fill out the shoes of Rolando McClain. This is a perfect fit for me personally.”

The Ravens play a similar 3-4 defense to what McClain was in at Alabama, which could make Baltimore an ideal fit.

“It’s going to bring back old memories because we each know what each other does, and we know how each other plays,” Cody said.

Last season in Oakland, McClain played in 11 games and finished with 37 tackles and one sack. In his three years with the Raiders, he registered 246 tackles, 6.5 sacks and one interception.

He’s expected to compete with Josh Bynes and Albert McClellan, as well as Jameel McClain, who is coming back from a spinal cord injury.

McClain is the second former Raider that the Ravens have signed this offseason. The team signed veteran free agent safety Michael Huff two weeks ago.

“It’s a move that can’t go wrong and I’m looking forward to playing in Baltimore as the Ravens run the same or very similar defense as I was a part of at the University of Alabama,” McClain said.

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