Looking to upgrade their depth at inside linebacker, the Ravens were willing to give Rolando McClain a second chance in the NFL. However, the 2010 first-round pick wasted no time in putting his future with the team in question.
The troubled linebacker was arrested Sunday night, less than 10 days after he signed with the reigning Super Bowl champions. He was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after he allegedly yelled an expletive about police officers after they responded to a disturbance at Pines Park in his hometown of Decatur, Ala.
McClain, 23, was released from jail after posting a $1,000 bond. However, a city prosecutor is reviewing his previous two arrests and deciding whether to file a motion for the bonds to be revoked. If they are, McClain could be held in jail until a scheduled May 7 hearing.
Sunday's incident was his third arrest in 16 months, all of them coming in Decatur, a place he recently vowed to avoid.
Ravens officials, deep in preparations for the start of the NFL draft on Thursday, said that they are reviewing the situation and had no immediate comment about McClain's status with the team.
"There is due process on this, and we are paying attention to that," Ravens senior vice president for public and community relations Kevin Byrne said.
The Ravens officially signed McClain to a one-year, $700,000 deal on April 12 after he visited the team's facility and met with Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and coach John Harbaugh.
Newsome downplayed the McClain addition last week, saying that the linebacker was "getting an opportunity to come and make our 53-man squad. That's it."
McClain's deal included incentives but no signing bonus, so releasing McClain wouldn't cost the Ravens anything. It would, however, reinforce the importance of the team coming out of this week's draft with an inside linebacker. The Ravens are thin at the position with the retirement of Ray Lewis, the free-agent departure of Dannell Ellerbe and the release of Brendon Ayanbadejo. Jameel McClain, the most experienced holdover at the position, is still rehabbing a serious spinal cord injury.
The number of losses at the position was one of the reasons the Ravens were willing to take a chance on McClain, the eighth-overall pick in the 2010 draft who finally wore out his welcome with the Oakland Raiders and was released on April 5. He was picked up by the Ravens a week later.
With the Raiders, he struggled on the field and even was suspended for two games last year by Oakland coach Dennis Allen for conduct detrimental to the team resulting from McClain's demotion from the starting lineup. But McClain's biggest problems have always been off the field — and seemingly in Decatur, where he went to high school.
The latest incident occurred there Sunday night after police responded to a report about a disturbance in a local park, which is a popular area hangout. Witnesses told police that McClain was spinning the wheels on his Chevrolet Chevelle and "attracting attention" to himself when somebody spit on his car, according to Lt. John Crouch, a public information officer for the Decatur Police Department.
There were over 700 people in the park and on the street when officers arrived and started dispersing the crowd. As McClain was walking past an officer, he yelled to the crowd, "[Expletive] the police," according to a news release released by the Decatur Police Department. The comment was loud enough to be picked up on the officer's microphone.
The police said that an officer then started toward McClain and ordered him to stop twice, but the player did not comply. Officers caught up to McClain and indicated that he was under arrest for disorderly conduct. However, as officers tried to grab his arms and handcuff him, McClain twice tried to jerk his arms away, resulting in the resisting arrest charge, police said.
According to the news release, individuals who were with McClain tried to intervene and prevent his arrest. Those individuals could face charges once they are identified.
McClain had already been out on bond after a January arrest following a traffic stop in Decatur, and he was due in court on May 7 on charges of violating the city's window tint code and providing false information to officers. Instead of signing the ticket after the traffic stop, McClain wrote "[Expletive] y'all," on the line for his signature. He insisted that was his name, according to police.
Last May, McClain was convicted in municipal court of third-degree assault, menacing, reckless endangerment and illegal discharge of a firearm in the city limits. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail for allegedly threatening to kill a man and discharging a gun next to his head during a fight two years ago. However, charges were dismissed after the accuser told prosecutors that he didn't want to go forward with the case.
McClain had yet to speak to the Baltimore media following his signing, but after moving his family to Madison, Ala., earlier this year, he told a local reporter there that he had to change his surroundings.
"I love my friends and my city, and I won't turn my back on them," McClain told the Madison Weekly News. "I just need to make better decisions in my life. I won't be making as many visits to Decatur."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun