The sudden second retirement of linebacker Rolando McClain still has fans puzzled.
On Wednesday, Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome spoke for the first time about McClain, a player with whom he had a close relationship considering Newsome's ties to his alma mater Alabama.
"Rolando retired," Newsome said, shrugging as if there was not much more to say.
"At the end of the day, a person has to make a decision whether he wants to play football or not play football. His decision was to retire."
The Ravens signed McClain last April. He retired at the age of 23, about a month* *following an arrest in his hometown of Decatur, Ala.
In a comeback effort, McClain returned to work out for the Ravens on April 15. But he reportedly did not perform well. The Ravens still activated him off the reserve-retired list two days later. Four days after that, just as the team's voluntary strength and conditioning program was beginning, McClain announced he was going back into retirement.
Considering the linebacker's history, Newsome was asked for his account about what happened with McClain.
Newsome simply said the Ravens didn't deviate from their usual practices of evaluating players – whether it be free agents or rookie prospects – when making decisions on McClain.
"I think the process that we go through is a very similar process that we've done since 1996," Newsome said. "John and I value all the information. We want all the input from as many people as we can get. That helps us to make decisions."
Newsome was asked whether the back-and-forth with McClain caused him to lose faith in Alabama. Newsome chuckled at the question. His son, Michael, was a walk-on defensive lineman for the Alabama football team.
"My son's still there," Newsome said. "I think that takes care of that one."