Rolando McClain: Baltimore Ravens Should Make a Play for Released Raiders LB

Jon ReidCorrespondent IINovember 29, 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 28:  Quarterback Brady Quinn #9 of the Kansas City Chiefs is sacked by middle linebacker Rolando McClain #55 of the Oakland Raiders during the game at Arrowhead Stadium on October 28, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

What if I told you there was a linebacker set to the hit the market who could hit hard, finish his tackles and is an effective pass-rusher for an inside linebacker?

Well, meet Rolando McClain, a third-year linebacker out of the University of Alabama who, according to, is about to be cut by his current team, the Oakland Raiders.

After seeing his time reduced this season in Oakland, McClain was starting to grow restless out west and is set to part ways with the Raiders.

This is a great opportunity for the Baltimore Ravens.

Whether or not you like his attitude, McClain is a piece that would fit in well with the Ravens. He'd provide a nice boost in a 3-4 defensive scheme to a pass-rushing unit that already boasts a returned Terrell Suggs and a resurgent Paul Kruger.

McClain also finishes his tackles, which is an attribute this Ravens defense is sorely lacking.

Throw in the fact that he's also a punishing tackler and you've got a player that was made for a Ravens-style defense.

Such attributes will also be welcome up the middle when it comes to stopping the run, another area the Ravens could really use some help in.

While Ray Lewis claims to be close to returning, there's no guarantee that once he returns, he doesn't re-injure his triceps.

Not to mention Ray is already 37 years old and won't be playing much longer, making McClain an intriguing long-term option. Being mentored by one of the all-time greats at inside linebacker doesn't seem like all that bad of a proposition for McClain either.

While his 99 tackles last season weren't overly impressive, he did pick up five sacks in his sophomore campaign.

This season, McClain only has 60 tackles, but was hurt by the system run by the Raiders and was seeing reduced minutes.

If the Ravens can find a way to make the 23-year-old's cap hit work, he'd make a great addition to an improving Baltimore Ravens defense.


Thanks go out to Mitchell Burton for his help and insights with regards to this article.