According to NFL insider Adam Schefter, former Raiders
headcase linebacker Rolando McClain is on the verge of signing a deal with the Baltimore Ravens.
Former Raiders LB Rolando McClain is nearing deal with Ravens. Two sides scheduled to talk today to see if they iron out unresolved issues.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 10, 2013
The Ravens have been desperate for inside linebacker depth following the offseason departures of both Ray Lewis (retirement) and Dannell Ellerbe (free agency), their top two ILB's from 2012. Although McClain operated within a 4-3 defense during his time in Oakland, the Ravens clearly believe the former first-rounder is capable of quickly transitioning to their 3-4 scheme. Prior to entering the NFL, McClain played in a 3-4 defense at the University of Alabama.
"It’s a move that can’t go wrong and I’m looking forward to playing in Baltimore as the Ravens run the same or very similar defense as I was a part of at the University of Alabama... Ray Lewis retired after winning the Super Bowl and I look to fill his slot," said McClain. "No one can fill his shoes, but I can fill his slot. I just want to fill out the shoes of Rolando McClain. This is a perfect fit for me personally."
For the Ravens, signing McClain is a low-risk investment in a player who was once regarded highly enough to warrant a top ten draft selection. He won't command a large salary after his troubles with the Raiders, which is good for a Ravens team tight against the cap.
The Bengals were at one point rumored to have interest in McClain, but it appears they have since changed their minds. I guess one disappointing middle linebacker on the roster is enough for now.