The Ravens are reportedly close to adding a player that could take over Ray Lewis' spot on defense.
Former Oakland Raiders inside linebacker Rolando McClain told the Madison Weekly News that he's going to sign a one-year deal with Baltimore, and multiple news outlets reported Wednesday night that the two sides have* *agreed to terms on a contract.
The one-year deal is reportedly worth $700,000, plus additional playing time incentives, according to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
"Ray Lewis retired after winning the Super Bowl and I look to fill his slot," McClain said. "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."
Before signing the deal, McClain is scheduled to visit Baltimore Friday for a physical and to meet with General Manager Ozzie Newsome and Head Coach John Harbaugh to discuss their goals and expectations for him, according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora.
The former top-10 pick 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 has also been arrested on charges of giving a fake name to law enforcement and on assault charges.
McClain struggled to live up to expectations as the eighth-overall pick in 2010, but the former Alabama University standout sees Baltimore as an opportunity to revive his career.
"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.
Despite the struggles in Oakland, McClain is still just 23 years old and has plenty of talent at a position of significant need for the Ravens. Baltimore is working to replace departed Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe, and fellow inside linebacker Jameel McClain is recovering from a spinal cord contusion. Rolando McClain could immediately fill in at one of those spots.
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.
This would be the second former Raider that the Ravens have added in free agency this offseason, as they recently signed veteran safety Michael Huff to a three-year contract. Huff showed his support of the McClain news on Twitter Wednesday when he retweeted Schefter's tweet along with the comment, "Love it."
By bringing McClain to Baltimore, General Manager Ozzie Newsome would be adding another star Alabama defender to his roster. McClain would be reunited with Crimson Tide teammates Terrence Cody and Courtney Upshaw.
The Ravens voluntary offseason conditioning program begins next week, and McClain appears to be making plans to attend.
"The offseason program in Baltimore begins next week," said McClain. "I've been working out on my own. Playing football is like riding a bike. You never forget."