Linebacker Rolando McClain had a brilliant career with the Alabama Crimson Tide, culminating in a fantastic junior season.
McClain won the Butkus Award and was a first team All-American. He helped lead the Tide to an undefeated season and a National Championship and was drafted in the top 10 of the NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders just a few months later.
Expectations were sky-high for McClain, but he hasn’t been able to live up to the hype. The Raiders released McClain and he signed with the Baltimore Ravens, but soon retired. He was reinstated from the Retired/Reserve list a year later, but then once again announced his retirement.
However, McClain’s retirement may be over. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, the Ravens have traded McClain to the Dallas Cowboys.
Baltimore traded LB Rolando McClain to the Dallas Cowboys, per source. So McClain’s retirement might be over.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 1, 2014
It is obviously a bit of a surprise that a team was even interested in trading for McClain, but it should come as no surprise the Cowboys traded for a linebacker. Star linebacker Sean Lee suffered a torn ACL and a slight tear in his meniscus in May that will cost him the entire 2014 season. Lee has been limited to just 17 games over the last two seasons that has caused the Cowboys to go searching for several different replacements, including former Detroit Lions’ first round pick.
Somewhat like Sims, who was the ninth-overall pick of the 2006 Draft by the Detroit Lions, the Oakland Raiders made McClain the eighth-overall pick of the 2010 Draft.
McClain never suited up for the Ravens, but played in 41 games in three seasons for the Raiders. He has 246 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 20 passes defended and one interception in his career.