Linebacker Jameel McClain!(/team/roster/jameel-mcclain/1b9210af-8755-4fdb-886e-580e37c99afe/ "Jameel McClain") officially signed his exclusive rights contract with the Ravens on Wednesday, ensuring he will play for Baltimore in 2009.
McClain was the only undrafted free agent to make the team prior to the 2008 season. In his first year out of Syracuse, he played in every game, gaining 17 special teams tackles, 8 solo tackles from scrimmage and 2.5 sacks. He also set a franchise record with 2 safeties.
The second-year linebacker is expected to have an expanded role this season with the departure of Bart Scott.
The Ravens have placed much attention on their linebackers this offseason. They placed the franchise tag on Terrell Suggs!(/team/roster/terrell-suggs/ad26be43-1380-45f1-b047-a91e850d9761/ "Terrell Suggs"), signed Ray Lewis!(/team/roster/ray-lewis/1c6d5ed3-fe49-4a89-a6b5-9e358e906ae7/ "Ray Lewis") to a long-term deal and drafted **Jason Phillips** out of TCU. Though **Tavares Gooden** is projected to take Scott's starting role, McClain will play a key role in one of the best linebacker corps in the NFL.