From @toddarcher & me: free agent LB Rolando McClain is visiting the Patriots today.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 30, 2015
Todd Archer, ESPN:
The Cowboys acquired McClain in a trade last July from the Baltimore Ravens for what turned out to be a sixth-round pick after he met certain conditions of the trade. The Cowboys received the Ravens’ seventh-rounder in return.
McClain missed three games with groin and knee injuries as well as an illness. He was knocked out of the Cowboys’ two playoff games with a concussion.
When he was on the field, however, McClain was the Cowboys’ best playmaker, finishing with 108 tackles, one sack, nine tackles for loss, five quarterback pressures, two interceptions, five pass breakups and a forced fumble.
There is "buyer beware" with LB Rolando McClain. He faces a four-game fine for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy and one more failed test would lead to a four-game suspension. There is also the issue of the arson investigation into the fire at McClain’s home in December. There is no statute of limitations on the crime of arson in the state of Alabama, fire marshal Ed Paulk said, so “the case will remain open until solved.
Rolando McClain attended the University of Alabama. He was the eighth pick in the 2010 NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders. His off-the-field behavior forced the Raiders to trade him after three seasons to the Baltimore Ravens. Rolando sat out the 2013 season, and played in 2014 with the Dallas Cowboys following the trade with the Ravens. He played last season at the bargain basement price of $700,000.
McClain was born in Decatur, Alabama to parents Roland McClain and Tonya Malone. He grew up in the projects of Decatur, Alabama. At 15, Rolando received a restraining order against his mother after she beat him and threatened him with a knife. At 16, she was arrested after she threatened his entire high school which resulted in a school lock down. During the trial she was diagnosed as bipolar. His estranged father was granted custody but McClain left to return to Decatur to stay eligible for football. He lived with several families his junior year. McClain could be considered to have been "on his own" since he was 15.
Rolando McClain was a member of Nick Saban's 2010 Alabama National Championship Team. Saban is very familiar with Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick, but it would appear unlikely that Nick could convince Bill that Rolando's problems are in the past.
Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.
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