Oakland Raiders are continuing to make roster changes, recently trading for quarterback Matt Flynn, trading Carson Palmer to the Cardinals. Now releasing 23 year old middle linebacker Rolando McClain.
News broke on Friday at the Oakland Raiders have officially waived McClain.
Before last season started, McClain got into some trouble in his home state of Alabama, after being arrested on misdemeanor assault and firearms chargers for holding a gun up to a mans head then firing it off into the air. Recently in Alabama, McClain found himself in trouble once again, but this time for tinted windows. Where he was supposed to sign his name, he wrote an expletive comment and replied to the officer with, “That is my name.”
Being a young linebacker with the potential he has and the ability of play he has shown, it somewhat upsets me that attitudes get the best of young players like Rolando McClain and could possibly drive him out of the National Football League sooner or later if he keeps it up. But being so young, there is a lot of time for improvement when it comes to this issue and I don’t expect him to be sitting on his couch for too long considering he is the youngest free agent linebacker on the market. I’m sure there are a handful of playoff teams looking at his history, asking themselves if signing McClain would be a good idea.
So with his troubles aside, this kid is a solid linebacker and could be the future of another team in this league since he is so young and has a whole career ahead of him. Now with all this being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is picked up by a playoff contender with a few non contenders in the mix, flashing some more cash in his face to reel him in. But who? And why?
1. New England Patriots – This could save them a draft pick as they look to improve and add to their defense. By the time it’s their turn to pick, unless they trade up in the draft, the projected 1st round linebackers will more than likely be gone. So let them pick up another position besides Linebacker and bring in McClain to be the future of this defense. He could also be playing with the man he gave a German Suplex to a few seasons ago, in Danny Amendola, at least Danny wouldn’t have to worry about taking professional wrestling bumps if he runs into Rolando McClain again.
2. Baltimore Ravens – This kid has the same energy about him when it comes to game time, that it reminds me a little bit of Ray Lewis, but with more of an attitude problem. Getting him in a defense with guys like Dumervil and Suggs, should tone down the way he acts off the field and improve him more on the field. They could ink him to a short team deal, then possibly restructure during next years off season once more cap space is available, then sign him long term. He could be the Baltimore Ravens next big thing at the middle linebacker position, as we all know, a position held down by the great Ray Lewis. I’m not saying he is or is going to be Ray Lewis, but the style of play is some what similar. He just needs to be surrounded by other leaders to keep his head straight and I think he will be alright.
3. New Orleans Saints – Out of everybody on this list, the New Orleans Saints need the most help on defense. Last season they finished 8-8, although still had a high powered offense, it was their defense that seemed to be their problem. They want to get back to playoff form and breaking even at the end of the season isn’t going to sit well with the organization or even the fans. This team is probably my favorite to land him, but we will have to see if the Saints will have any interest in him at all, after asking Jonathan Vilma to restructure his current contract.
4. Buffalo Bills – Yes, once again, the Buffalo Bills have made my list when it comes to Linebackers. They will remain on these Top Five lists until they sign someone who can step up and be that leader that, that team desperately needs. As you can tell, no offence to Bills fans, but this organization could be that non-contender who could wave a big offer in front of McClain’s face and bring him in with a 5-6 year deal with a big pay out. Don’t waste a pick on a linebacker knowing a guy like McClain is out on the market today, call his agent, try to get a deal done quick, because you know the people who represent Rolando are pretty busy as we speak.
5. Atlanta Falcons – They improved their defense a bit by signing Osi Umenyiora and could improve a lot more if they pursue and sign McClain. If all goes well, this team is easily going to take this division and could still have a chance to lock up the #1 seed in the NFC. It would be a perfect fit, a young star quarterback leading the charge on offense and Osi Umenyiora and Rolando McClain holding it down for the defense. In my opinion, if they could find a way to sign McClain, this boosts them ahead of the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks. Athletic, young linebacker who will take up some cap space, but would be worth it with the production he could bring to this organization. He could be another face of this franchise as they look to give Tony Gonzalez the Ray Lewis send off, this season.
In just 3 seasons in the National Football League and with the Oakland Raiders, Rolando McClain has a total of 246 tackles and 6.5 sacks with 1 interception. I’m just saying, if the negative activity continues off the field and teams are not willing to take the risk on McClain, he could always call up Vince McMahon and hand out German Suplexes without worrying about being fined, once again, I’m just saying.