Former Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain is hoping to make an NFL return, as Matt Zenitz of AL.com writes. McClain, 29, hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2015, but he says he feels better than he has in years past.
“Every time I got in my linebacker position, it was bone on bone grind,” said McClain, the former No. 8 overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft. “Not only do I feel good, I’m recovered and I’m rested. I feel better now because I know I’ll be playing with two legs.”
McClain had three productive seasons with the Raiders, though they were marred by controversy. In 2012, he was booted from team practices after several incidents, and McClain subsequently took to Facebook to complain about the organization, going as far as to say that he wanted “to be anywhere besides here.” He was released by the team the next offseason before briefly catching on with the Ravens. However, less than a month after signing with Baltimore, McClain suddenly announced his retirement.
The Cowboys then took a bit of a risk trading for the linebacker in 2014, despite the fact that McClain had sat out the previous season. It ended up paying off for Dallas, as the linebacker would go on to appear in 13 games for his new team, compiling 81 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble. He earned his first suspension from the NFL the following offseason, limiting him to only eleven games in 2015, although he still collected 80 tackles and a pair of sacks.
After signing another one-year deal with the Cowboys during the 2016 offseason, McClain was handed a ten-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He then failed another drug test midway through the season, and the NFL slapped him with an indefinite suspension. After his third ban in two years, McClain was cuffed on a 2017 arrest for firearm and drug charges.
Given his off-the-field issues and a reported addiction to “purple drank,” it remains to be seen if McClain will get another NFL opportunity.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.