Middle linebacker Rolando McClain has said on his Twitter page that he plans on coming back and playing in the 2014 season. The Ravens still hold his contractual rights, but it doesn't sound like they are sweating McClain's decision.
John Harbaugh said Tuesday that he hasn’t spoken to the former University of Alabama standout, who retired nearly a month after he signed with the Ravens last April, and the Ravens coach is unsure whether the 24-year-old plans to play or not.
“I have not had discussions with Rolando personally. We haven’t spoken with him to my knowledge,” Harbaugh said at the NFL owners meetings. “I mean [general manager Ozzie Newsome] may have talked to him at some point because of Alabama and all that kind of stuff. To me, it all depends on a couple things. Who [is he] as a person right now? Has he grown up? He had a lot of growing up to do obviously. And how hard he’s working, how hard he’s working at Alabama right now. If he’s working his rear end off, then I’m kind of excited about him. If he’s not, then I’ve got no interest in him being on our team.”
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McClain, picked eighth overall by the Oakland Raiders in 2010, retired to get his personal life in order after a series of off-the-field issues and brushes with the law. He was arrested in Decatur, Ala., and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest less than two weeks after he signed with the Ravens following his release by the Raiders.
Following his retirement, he re-enrolled at Alabama, where he’s been training and helping out the football team.
“I’ll just wait and see what he does,” said Harbaugh, who did indicate that the team needs to add to its inside linebacker depth behind projected starters Daryl Smith and Arthur Brown. “If he un-retires or whatever the situation is, then we’ll decide whether he is going to be good for our team. And if we think yes, then we have the rights to him and he’ll have to come back with us. And from what I’ve heard, he wants to come back — if he comes back — with the Ravens. But if we don’t think he’ll be good for our team, we’ll let him go and play for somebody else. It’s all up to Rolando McClain. Who are you? How hard are you working? And how much do you want to play football? Up to this point, he hasn’t really wanted to play football. That’s what I’m interested in as a coach.”