Troubled Ravens linebacker McClain elects to retire from NFL

May 15, 2013 | Luke Jones

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Rolando McClain’s run with the Baltimore Ravens is apparently over as well as his NFL career.

The troubled 23-year-old linebacker has informed the Ravens he’s elected to retire after three tumultuous seasons that started with the Alabama standout being selected with the eighth overall pick of the 2010 draft by Oakland and ended before he even took part in as much as a practice with the Ravens.

“Rolando let me know that he plans to retire from the NFL,” general manager Newsome said in a team statement. “We have placed him on the reserve-retired list.”

McClain signed a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Ravens on April 12. He became available after Oakland elected to release him and eat roughly $11 million in dead money on their 2013 salary cap to rid themselves of a player with off-field issues as well as a reputation for being a malcontent in the locker room.

The signing drew criticism from many who labeled it as an uncharacteristic move by an organization that prides itself on having strong-character players. McClain faced misdemeanor charges of third-degree assault, menacing, reckless endangerment, and illegal discharge of a firearm in his hometown of Decatur, Ala. in 2011. The charges were eventually dropped after an original conviction was appealed. The 2009 Butkus Award winner was also arrested in January after failing to sign a citation related to illegal window tint on his vehicle.

Newsome and coach John Harbaugh met with McClain to share their expectations before offering him a deal that included the potential to make $400,000 in incentives to supplement his base salary. McClain followed that initial meeting by being arrested once again in Decatur on April 21 with charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors.

Despite cries from some to release McClain and then the selection of Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown in the second round of last month’s draft, the Ravens appeared committed to giving McClain another opportunity as Newsome and assistant general manager Eric DeCosta never gave any indication that the former Raider’s offseason roster spot was in jeopardy.

The inside linebacker collected 274 tackles, 6 1/2 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, and 23 pass breakups in 41 career games with the Raiders.