What Is McClain's Future With Ravens?
Whether newly signed linebacker Rolando McClain will get the chance to resurrect his career with the Baltimore Ravens is to be determined.
Sunday's arrest marked his third in the last 16 months in his hometown of Decatur, Ala.,* *and came less than two weeks after signing with the Ravens and vowing to change his off-field behavior. Now, many are calling into question the 23-year-old linebacker's commitment to playing in the NFL.
The Ravens are reviewing the situation, and haven't made any comment regarding McClain's status with the team.
"There is due process on this, and we are paying attention to that," Ravens Senior Vice President of Public and Community Relations Kevin Byrne told The Baltimore Sun.
While the Ravens try to gather all the facts, the court of public opinion has already kicked in.
Ravens fans were asked in a Baltimore Sun poll whether they think the team should cut ties with McClain. Sixty-seven percent of nearly 2,400 respondents voted for Baltimore to "Cut him loose. McClain isn't worth the trouble." The other 33 percent voted to "Keep him. If any franchise can make it work with McClain, it's the Ravens."
When he signed with the Ravens, McClain appeared poised to join his teammates in the offseason conditioning program, but now his availability is up in the air.
McClain is currently out of jail after posting a $1,000 bond, but that could change. A city prosecutor is currently reviewing his last two arrests and will decide whether to file a motion for the bonds to be revoked, according to The Sun's Jeff Zrebiec. If the bonds are revoked, McClain could be held in jail until May 7 for his next scheduled hearing.
Lt. John Crouch of the Decatur police department was a guest on 105.7 The Fan's Norris & Davis show and explained that McClain would never have been arrested had he done what the police asked while they were trying to disperse a crowd of over 700 people in a local park. Instead, McClain allegedly tried to rile up the crowd and tried to jerk away from police, which led to him getting charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
While McClain's legal situation is currently only preventing his participation from voluntary workouts, there is concern that it could affect his game status when the season begins in September.
If the team does decide to part ways with the former first-round draft selection, it wouldn't cost anything against the cap. When McClain signed his reported $700,000 contract, there was no bonus and no guaranteed money. The Ravens could cut ties with McClain and use all of that money on another veteran free agent or incoming rookie.
That's exactly what ESPN's Jamison Hensley thinks the Ravens should do. He suggests the team either contact free agent linebacker Karlos Dansby or use one of its first couple picks on a linebacker in this week's draft.
"The Ravens need to cut their ties to McClain," Hensley wrote. "General Manager Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens decided to give McClain a second chance, and McClain didn't even get to his first Ravens practice without getting arrested.
"When looking at draft prospects, Ravens officials have often said they're able to overlook a mistake in the past because no one is perfect. But repeated mistakes are a sign of bad character. McClain falls into that category, and his latest arrest is just another reminder of that."
That said, Hensley doesn't see the team making a knee-jerk reaction to the news. He believes the Ravens will wait until after the draft to make a decision regarding McClain's status on the team.
ProFootballTalk.com's Michael David Smith explores the possibility of holding onto McClain throughout the offseason.
"They can keep an eye on him throughout the offseason and see if he looks like he can contribute to their defense, and if he doesn't, they can cut him at any time before the regular season starts without having spent anything," Smith wrote. "It's still entirely possible that they will cut him before the regular season starts. But they're going to take their time in reviewing his latest arrest."
In the video below, Hensley explains that if the Ravens do release McClain after giving him a second chance, his NFL career could be over at just 23 years old. He believes teams will have a hard time giving the young man a third and fourth chance.
The Latest On Dansby's Availability
As Hensley pointed out, if the Ravens are interested in adding another veteran linebacker to the roster, Dansby from the Dolphins is still on the market.
The 10-year veteran free agent was considered by AFC North rival Cincinnati, but the team ultimately decided to sign James Harrison instead.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Dansby visited with the Buffalo Bills Monday and continues his visit today.
"It's unclear just how serious the Bills are about producing a competitive offer for Dansby's services; however, from his perspective, there may be some desire in being able to play against Miami twice per season (as there was desire for Harrison to play against Pittsburgh twice per season)," wrote ESPN's Tim Kavanagh. "Stay tuned."
McShay Has Ravens Selecting Safety Eric Reid
With the final pick of Thursday night's first round of the draft, ESPN's Todd McShay has the Ravens selecting LSU safety Eric Reid.
"Reid is generally considered the fourth-best safety prospect in the draft," Hensely commented on McShay's pick. "He is a big-time hitter but there are questions whether he has the speed to hold up in deep coverage. The Ravens should take a safety early in this draft because I'm not sold on them going with James Ihedigbo as a starter."
At last week's pre-draft press conference, Newsome said there was a very good chance that he selects a safety at some point during the draft as there is one that he likes in each round.
If the Ravens do use their first-round pick to nab a safety, other possibilities at the time could be Florida's Matt Elam and Florida International's Jonathan Cyprien.
- An Ellicott City, Md. man died Sunday after participating in the Tough Mudder endurance series that Head Coach John Harbaugh also participated in. [Hagerstown Herald-Mail]
- @Ravens: The #Ravens have signed exclusive rights free agent LB Josh Bynes. [Twitter]
- @bynestime56: Feels good to be bak wit my brothers in bmore! Always will have my mom in my heart and watchin over me! Love u and miss Mama [Twitter]
- @RayRice27: Will be in NYC for NFL Draft. Check out the #BRDraft party as I'll be your host! @Bleacherreport [Twitter]
- @vleach44: I see you @TheRealJacoby12 Man U been pigeon toe all your life [Twitter]
- A review of Jones' pigeon-toed dance last night. [BaltimoreRavens.com]
- LaVar Arrington will mentor an Owings Mills-based youth football team [The Baltimore Sun]
- Very touching Facebook post from Torrey Smith [Facebook]