McClain's bizarre timeline with Ravens

April, 21, 2014
Apr 21
5:15
PM ET
Rolando McClain never suited up for the Baltimore Ravens, but the inside linebacker will be remembered as having the most bizarre one-year run with the team:

April 12, 2013: The Ravens signed McClain to a one-year, $700,000 contract that includes no guaranteed money. "Ray Lewis retired after winning the Super Bowl and I look to fill his slot," McClain told the Madison (Ala.) Weekly News.

April 16, 2013: General manager Ozzie Newsome explained why the troubled linebacker had a chance to succeed with the Ravens. "I think the guys in the locker room will be able to provide him with the proper guidance that he needs as to the way John [Harbaugh] wants his football team and football players to be," he said.

April 21, 2013: McClain was arrested in his hometown of Decatur, Ala., and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, police said. This was McClain's third arrest in an 11-month span. McClain allegedly yelled obscenities at police officers as they were trying to disperse a large crowd of more than 700 people at a local park after they responded to calls about a fight.

May 6, 2013: He pleaded guilty to a charge in Decatur, Ala., of violating rules on car window tint, while a charge of lying about his identity was dropped. When he was arrested in January 2013, McClain signed an expletive on the citation he received from police instead of his name. He paid a $182 fine.

May 7, 2013: Assistant general manager Eric DeCosta told The Baltimore Sun that McClain deserves a second chance. "If you asked him, he would probably admit to making some mistakes," DeCosta said. "We have a relationship with a lot of Alabama players. We get a lot of good information from Alabama because of Ozzie Newsome's relationship with the school. So, we think he deserves a second chance."

May 15, 2013: McClain informed the Ravens that he planned to retire at the age of 23, and the team put him on the reserve-retired list. In a statement released by his agent, McClain wrote: "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."

June 11, 2013: McClain re-enrolled at the University of Alabama. "I know a lot of people get disappointed in Rolando McClain and a lot of the things he's struggled with, but he's with us now," Alabama coach Nick Saban said.

July 10, 2013: McClain pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The case is still pending.

Oct. 30, 2013: McClain said he retired because he was worried he would do something he would regret. "I felt like Aaron Hernandez, like I just wanted to kill somebody," McClain said in an interview for this week's ESPN The Magazine.

March 11, 2014: McClain started telling people that he's targeting a comeback and began working out again.

March 25, 2014: Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he hadn't yet spoken to McClain about a comeback. "To me, it all depends on a couple things. Who [is he] as a person right now? Has he grown up?" Harbaugh said. "He had a lot of growing up to do obviously. And how hard he's working, how hard he's working at Alabama right now. If he's working his rear end off, then I'm kind of excited about him. If he's not, then I've got no interest in him being on our team."

April 3, 2014: McClain said he was expected to meet with Newsome that week to discuss a potential return. "I'm excited about the game again," McClain said. "I'm excited to play."

April 15, 2014: McClain flopped in his first workout with the Ravens. He reportedly was 22 minutes late and failed to finish the conditioning test.

April 17, 2014: The Ravens activated McClain off the reserve-retired list. Ravens officials declined any official comment on the move, which was reported on the NFL's transactions list.

April 21, 2014: McClain informed ESPN that he's retiring again on the day when the Ravens are starting their offseason workout program. He texted ESPN: "I gotta follow my heart. It ain't football. If football made me complete I would play. But whenever I think of it my heart pulls me away from whatever reason. ... This means I'm done."

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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