Rolando McClain, who recently retired shortly after being signed by the Ravens at the age of 23, released a statement on Thursday saying he needs to step away from football in order to focus on his personal life.
"Clearly, my decision to retire has raised some questions. Quite simply, I love football, but I have decided at this time it is in my best interest to focus on getting my personal life together. Beyond that, I'm not sure what the future holds for me, including football. This was entirely my decision and the Ravens have been very supportive during this process. I am very grateful for the opportunity they gave me and wish them the best of luck in the future. God willing, maybe I'll play for them one day."
McClain, the No. 8-overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Raiders out of Alabama, burned his bridge with Oakland over his three years with the team. The situation came to a head when he walked out of a team practice in November of the 2012 season and took to Twitter and Facebook saying he was done with the team and wanted to play anywhere else. He was released the following April.
After clearing waivers and sitting on the open market for a while, he was signed by the Ravens, who were hoping to replace some of the linebackers lost following the 2012 season. However, just 10 days after he signed with the Ravens, he was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. It was his third arrest in his career.
If McClain can solve the personal problems that have plagued him throughout his career, he could realize his potential and become the linebacker the Raiders hoped they had drafted in 2010. It's unclear, though, whether that will happen or even if he'll play football in the NFL ever again. He has made 173 tackles, including 6.5 sacks, and intercepted one pass in his career.