Rolando McClain

This Date In Transactions History: NFL Suspends Cowboys’ Rolando McClain

When linebacker Rolando McClain was handed a 10-game suspension on this date in 2016, it was assumed he’d be back for the Cowboys’ late-season run. However, four years later, it’s uncertain if the 30-year-old will ever play in the NFL again.

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The 2010 first-round pick had three productive, yet tumultuous, seasons with the Raiders. In 2012, he was booted from team practices after several incidents, and McClain took to Facebook to complain about the organization. One time, he wrote that he wanted “to be anywhere besides [Oakland].” He was released by the team the next offseason before briefly catching on with the Ravens. Less than a month after signing with Baltimore, McClain suddenly announced his retirement.

The Cowboys traded for McClain in 2014, even though the linebacker was one year removed from the field. It paid off for Dallas – McClain went on to appear in 13 games for his new team, registering 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 the 10-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. Following his third ban in two years, McClain was arrested on firearm and drug charges.

McClain was conditionally reinstated in August of 2019, but the Cowboys cut him almost immediately. Then, in December, McClain was hit with yet another indefinite suspension from the league office. The league did not publicly disclose the reason for the ban, but it likely means that the once-promising linebacker will never play in the NFL again.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Bans Rolando McClain

The NFL has banned Rolando McClain indefinitely, a source tells ESPN.com’s Field Yates (Twitter link). McClain was conditionally reinstated in September and quickly released by the Cowboys, making him a free agent. This latest setback may kick him out of football for good. 

McClain, a talented former first-round pick of the Raiders, has battled off-the-field demons for years. The Cowboys gambled on him after the Raiders gave up on him and, for a period, that gamble paid off. After years away from the game, the Cowboys decided that he was not worth the trouble and we didn’t hear much about him during the 2019 season.

In 2014, the Cowboys acquired McClain via trade and used him in 13 games. He finished that season with 81 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble. After that, he was hit with his first – but not last – NFL suspension. In 2015, he was limited to just eleven games, though he still tallied 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.

McClain, who has not played since January 1, 2016, will turn 31 in July.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys Cut Rolando McClain

The Cowboys will release linebacker Rolando McClain, as Calvin Watkins of Dallas Morning News tweets. McClain was recently granted conditional reinstatement into the NFL, but this move was expected due to McClain’s ongoing personal issues.

McClain, a talented former first-round pick of the Raiders, has battled off-the-field demons for years. The Cowboys gambled on him after the Raiders gave up on him and, for a period, that gamble paid off. After years away from the game, the juice is no longer worth the squeeze for the Cowboys. At least, not until he’s able to get back on the right track.

In 2014, the Cowboys acquired McClain via trade and used him in 13 games. He finished that season with 81 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble. After that, he was hit with his first – but not last – NFL suspension. In 2015, he was limited to just eleven games, though he still tallied 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.

We haven’t seen McClain on the field since the 2015 season and it remains to be seen whether the 30-year-old is in game shape.

Rolando McClain Gets Conditional Reinstatement

Linebacker Rolando McClain, conceivably, could make a return to the NFL. After three full seasons away from the sport, the league has granted him a conditional reinstatement (Twitter link via Mike Florio of PFT).

McClain, a talented former first-round pick of the Raiders, has battled off-the-field demons for years. The Cowboys gambled on him after the Raiders gave up on him and, for a period, that gamble paid off.

In 2014, the Cowboys acquired McClain via trade and used him in 13 games. He finished that season with 81 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble. After that, he was hit with his first – but not last – NFL suspension. In 2015, he was limited to just eleven games, though he still tallied 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.

We haven’t seen McClain on the field since the 2015 season, but the door is at least open for him to sign with a club for the upcoming year. It remains to be seen whether the 30-year-old is in game shape, however.

Latest On Cowboys, Rolando McClain

We learned yesterday that embattled linebacker Rolando McClain is looking to make an NFL comeback, but it doesn’t sound like his former team will necessarily welcome him back with open arm. During an appearance on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, Cowboys COO Stephen Jones quickly shut down rumors of a potential return.

“Rolando has got to work on his off-the-field situations before he can even begin to think about being a productive player on the field,” Jones said (via Make Lane of WFAA Sports on Twitter). “And I certainly know he’s on that journey. We certainly wish him the best. But the league policies are what they are. We certainly know that we’re accountable to them, as is Rolando. I think that was a settlement that is final. Certainly hope that Rolando is focused on getting himself better and ultimately get himself in a good situation first in terms of the things that he’s battling off the field.”

Meanwhile, Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com writes that the Cowboys still own McClain’s rights. The team placed the linebacker on the reserve/suspended list back in 2016 after he was hit with a 10-game suspension. However, Williams cautions that if McClain earned reinstatement, the Cowboys would likely cut him. The 29-year-old signed a one-year, $5MM contract with Dallas back in 2016.

The Cowboys decision to trade for the linebacker in 2014 paid off, 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 that previously-mentioned 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 campaign, 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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rolando McClain Eyeing NFL Comeback

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.

This Date In Transactions History: NFL Suspends Gates, McClain, Richardson

The days leading up to the Fourth of July aren’t necessarily a hotbed of activity in the NFL. But, sometimes, the league office will use the cover of the holiday weekend to drop some unfavorable news. That’s what the NFL did on July 2, 2015 when it announced the suspensions of three notable players. 

Three years ago today, the league announced suspensions for Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson, and Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain. All three players were banned for the first four games of the season – Gates for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy and McClain and Richardson for substance abuse policy violations.

Gates issued a statement soon after the suspension came down, saying that he tested positive for a substance that he was unaware was on the league’s banned list. At the time, it felt like the ban could signal the end of the Gates era in San Diego and the beginning of the Ladarius Green era. Green had flashed his immense physical tools in the past, but was buried behind Gates on the tight end depth chart. Green was productive in Gates’ absence, but Gates came storming back when he took the field and finished ahead of Green in all major statistical categories. In the following year, Green went on to sign an ill-fated contract with the Steelers and Gates remained as the team’s primary tight end.

Richardson’s suspension, meanwhile, probably hurt his standing with his team. Richardson’s suspension gave rookie Leonard Williams a chance to shine and further reinforced the perception of him as a bad teammate. The former first-round pick turned in the worst season of his career to date and lost upwards of $600K in salary and bonus money as a result of the suspension. The Jets tried hard to trade Richardson throughout the 2016 season, but could not find any takers. Then, just before the start of the ’17 campaign, they shipped him to the Seahawks for wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and a second-round pick.

McClain’s suspension was the result of violating the league’s substance abuse policy for a fourth time in his NFL career. In a statement, McClain vowed that he would “not break the rules of [his] profession in the future.” Unfortunately, he was unable to keep that promise. In 2016, McClain was suspended for substance abuse yet again, this time for ten games. He later failed another drug test midway through the season, and the NFL slapped him with an indefinite suspension. McClain has reportedly battled an addiction to “purple drank” (a mixture of codeine-based cold medication and soda) and there has been no word of a potential comeback in some time.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

This Date In Transactions History: Rolando McClain

When linebacker Rolando McClain was handed a 10-game suspension on this date in 2016, it was assumed he’d be back for the Cowboys’ late-season run. However, two years later, it’s uncertain if the 28-year-old will ever play in the NFL again.

The 2010 first-round pick had three productive seasons with the Raiders, although it was accompanied by its fair share of 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 11 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 the 10-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. Following his third ban in two years, it doesn’t sound like McClain will be making a return anytime soon. Since he was suspended indefinitely, we’ve only heard one bit of news about McClain: a 2017 arrest for firearm and drug charges.

Two years ago today, the Cowboys were surely disappointed hearing about McClain’s suspension. However, it’s unlikely they would have thought that he’d be out of the NFL two years later.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys LB Rolando McClain Arrested

Rolando McClain was arrested in Georgia today on firearm and drug charges, as Anna Beahm of DecaturDaily.com writes. The Cowboys linebacker was initially pulled over for a window tint violation when he was found with marijuana and a gun that did not have a corresponding permit. McClain is facing charges for second-degree possession of marijuana, carrying a firearm without a permit, and a “misdemeanor equipment violation” stemming from his tinted windows. Rolando McClain

This is yet another sad development in the life and career of McClain. His most recent violation of the league’s substance abuse policy led to the league placing him under indefinite suspension in 2016. Right now, it’s hard to envision him playing for the Cowboys or any other NFL team in the near future.

McClain bounced back from his off-the-field demons in 2014 when he turned in a strong season with Dallas. He followed that up with another solid campaign in 2015 in which he graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 28 linebacker. In that suspension-shortened season, McClain recorded 80 total tackles, two sacks, and three pass deflections.

Fun fact: This is McClain’s second known arrest involving illegally tinted windows on his car. He was first cuffed for the offense in January 2013 by Decatur police when he signed his citation as “F— y’all.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rolando McClain Banned Indefinitely

Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain has been suspended indefinitely, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. McClain’s stems from his latest violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. Rolando McClain (vertical)

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McClain reportedly wants to return to the team, but it’s not clear if the Cowboys want to have him back. Publicly, at least, owner Jerry Jones has said that he wants the linebacker to rejoin the club. Of course, that’s easy to say when McClain is a long way from being reinstated to the league.

It should be noted that since McClain has been on the reserve/did not report list this season, it’s possible his one-year Cowboys deal could be applied to 2017. But, the Cowboys might not want to pursue that if McClain is not sober.

In 2015, McClain graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 28 linebacker. In his suspension-shortened season, McClain recorded 80 total tackles, two sacks, and three pass deflections.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.