The Dallas Cowboys seemingly struck gold with Rolando McClain but never trusted him enough to commit to the linebacker long term. Those decisions look prophetic after a year-long suspension was given to McClain just before he was set to finish a 10-game suspension he earned in the summer.
Friday afternoon, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that McClain had been suspended indefinitely for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.
McClain, 27, was a first-round pick of the Oakland Raiders in the 2010 NFL draft, but he was waived in 2013 after several off-field incidents, including an arrest in 2011 for third degree assault and a two-game suspension in 2012 for conduct detrimental to the team. He signed with the Baltimore Ravens but retired a month later; however, he revived his career in Dallas.
With Sean Lee out due to an injury in 2014, the Cowboys turned to McClain to start at middle linebacker and he excelled in the role. Dallas brought him back in 2015 on a one-year, $3 million deal, but he was handed a four-game suspension for violation of the substance abuse policy in July.
McClain was eligible to return from his suspension the Monday after the Cowboys played their Week 11 game against the Baltimore Ravens. But instead the linebacker is out of action until the latter half of 2017 due to another violation of the substance abuse policy. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the latest suspension is for missing a drug test.
With McClain scheduled to become a free agent again in the offseason, it will be tough for the 27-year-old linebacker to convince a team to sign him when he won’t be able to contribute until November. It will be even harder for him to convince any team that he can be trusted not to get in trouble again.