Ex-Raider ends strange, short career

May, 15, 2013
5/15/13
2:50
PM ET
Rolando McClain just closed the book on one of the most disappointing, bizarre NFL careers in recent memory.

The linebacker -- who was the No. 8 overall pick of the Oakland Raiders in 2010 -- has retired from the NFL. He is 23.

McClain was recently signed by Baltimore after he was cut by the Raiders. He was arrested in his hometown of Decauter, Alabama for the third time in a year-and-a-half shortly after joining the Ravens. Seemingly out the blue McClain told the team this week that he is leaving the game.

Of course, this cements McClain’s status as a tremendous draft bust. But it all raises more questions of what he is thinking about?

Why would he quit? What is he going to do with his life at 23 instead of playing football? Is he going to stay in his hometown, a place where he clearly has proven he cannot stay out of trouble?

I hope for McClain’s future and for his family that he can find some type of happiness and peace away from the NFL that he couldn’t achieve while playing.

Maybe McClain will get his head together and attempt a comeback at some point. But that will not be easy. Teams are simply not going to welcome McClain with open arms.

In addition to his legal issues, McClain struggled on the field, he was a locker-room issue and he was known for not being coachable.

This is probably the end for McClain in the NFL. Hopefully, moving on from the game will help McClain as he moves forward in life.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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