Ravens LB McClain retires from NFL

The bizarre saga of Rolando McClain took another head-scratching twist Wednesday as the Baltimore Ravens announced that the 23-year-old linebacker is retiring from the NFL and will be placed on the reserve/retired list.

The announcement comes just three years after McClain was selected by the Oakland Raiders with the eighth-overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft following a dominant, award-winning college career at the University of Alabama.

But McClain's brief time in the NFL has been defined by his baffling inability to stay out of trouble off the field.

He's been arrested three times during the last 18 months. The most recent arrest came last month, just weeks after his off-field troubles contributed to him being released by the Raiders and just 10 days after he signed with the Ravens.

"Rolando let me know that he plans to retire from the NFL," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement. "We have placed him on the reserve/retired list."

But, while surely frustrating, the brief experiment with McClain doesn't cost Baltimore anything from a financial standpoint, and the announcement Wednesday ends weeks of speculation regarding McClain's future following his arrest for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in April.

The deal McClain signed with Baltimore was for just one-year, only $700,000 and didn't include any guaranteed money.

But McClain's retirement does add to the Ravens' questions at inside linebacker.

Despite his troubles off the field, McClain was a respected presence against the run who was expected to challenge for a starting job at the position.

And while much is expected of second-round pick Arthur Brown, it's still unclear at this point who the starter will be at either of the Ravens' two inside linebacker spots.

Ray Lewis retired, Dannell Ellerbe left as a free agent, Brendon Ayanbadejo was released and Jameel McClain, a starter each of the last three seasons, is still recovering from the spinal cord injury that ended his season last year.

The only other inside linebackers on Baltimore's roster aside from Brown and McClain are Josh Bynes, a former undrafted free-agent who began last season on the Ravens' practice squad, Albert McClellan, a former college defensive end who has played primarily outside linebacker during his first two years in the NFL, and Spencer Adkins, who had just 15 tackles in his first three NFL seasons and was out of football last year.

NOTE: The Ravens signed undrafted rookie quarterback Dayne Crist Wednesday, a former big-time recruit who never lived up to expectations at Notre Dame.

Crist signed with Notre Dame in 2008 rated by many as the top quarterback in that year's recruiting class, ahead of players like Blaine Gabbert, Andrew Luck and Tyler Wilson, but Crist lost his job as the starting quarterback at Notre Dame as a redshirt junior in 2011 and transferred to Kansas prior to the start of last season.

He threw for just 1,313 yards with the Jayhawks, completed only 47 percent of his passes and had just four touchdown passes to go along with nine interceptions.