It was assumed Rolando McCLain’s habit of getting arrested and producing pictures featuring himself in handcuffs while looking, um, happy would eventually end his football career. But this still seems sudden, and maybe forced.
McClain abruptly announced his retirement this afternoon, with the Ravens confirming his decision in a press release. The end of his career comes a few weeks after he was arrested for the third time in two years. This latest and final arrest — at least in his football career — was for disorderly conduct, and it came just 10 days after the Ravens signed him as a desperate filler at middle linebacker after the departure of Dannell Ellerbe through free agency and the retirement of Ray Lewis.
His contributions would have been minimal, just as they were in Oakland after McClain turned into a first-round bust. But with his spiral now complete, the hole he leaves in Baltimore still prompts questions about the Ravens’ depth up the middle, despite the numerous offseason moves made elsewhere.
Arthur Brown was a second-round pick, and with his lateral speed he should slide in immediately and likely excel at middle linebacker. He’s still a rookie, though, and the Ravens are still trusting a first year player alongside Jameel McClain to turn around a run defense which faded last year while allowing 122.8 rushing yards per game (a significant increase from 92.6 in 2011).
With a schedule that includes attempting to stop Adrian Peterson, Matt Forte, C.J. Spiller, Arian Foster, and Trent Richardson twice, there’s now even more production potential for the Ravens’ elite rushing opponents.