OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Speaking to the media following the Ravens’ first-round selection of safety Matt Elam, general manager Ozzie Newsome was asked about troubled linebacker Rolando McClain, who was arrested in his hometown of Decature, Ala. last weekend.
Newsome’s answer was short when asked where McClain stood with his new team, but that’s to be expected at least until after the conclusion of the draft. McClain was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, two misdemeanors, and was released on $1,000 bond.
The Ravens signed McClain to a one-year contract worth $700,000 on April 12 and had said recently in an interview that he would avoid visiting his hometown as often due to his past legal problems. Many have speculated that Baltimore will part ways with the inside linebacker since they did not guarantee any of his contract, which also includes $400,000 in incentives based on playing time.
“I knew he was going back to Decatur, but that’s still a process,” Newsome said. “We’re still working our way through it.”
As of earlier this week, it was believed that McClain had yet to participate in the Ravens’ voluntary offseason conditioning program. Newsome reminded media that McClain has no obligation to attend workouts that are “all voluntary” during this phase of the offseason program.
In Thursday’s first round, the Ravens had their choice of Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o, LSU’s Kevin Minter, and Kansas State’s Arthur Brown at the inside linebacker position but elected to select Elam with the 32nd overall pick to conclude the first day of the draft.
Meanwhile, McClain is now saying police arrested the wrong man and he was simply trying to help his brother, who was involved in an altercation at Pines Park.
“The situation could have been avoided on my part,” McClain told the Madison Weekly News,” but I was at the park in an attempt to keep my brother out of trouble as he said he was going to the park because some guys had spit on his car and had harassed him. The police were already at the park when I arrived. I tried to get my brother to calm down. Police thought I cussed them. It wasn’t me. They arrested the wrong guy.”
At the very least, McClain is now acknowledging this latest run-in with the law may cost him the second chance afforded to him by the Ravens just two weeks ago.
“This probably could end my chance to play football,” McClain said. “I haven’t cried in years, but I had tears in my eyes. I wasn’t going to let my brother get into a fight.”
It remains to be seen whether any amount of tears will prevent him from being kicked to the curb in Baltimore.