- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Ravens reporter
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Under the condition of the deal, McClain had to play in at least 50 percent of the Cowboys' defensive snaps in order for the teams to swap picks. McClain, the second-leading tackler for Dallas, participated in 61.9 percent of the Cowboys' defensive snaps (606 of 978) this season.
This was a win-win for both teams. The Cowboys are happy that they got an integral piece of their defense at such a bargain cost, and the Ravens should be pleased that they got something for a player who never even practiced with the team.
The Ravens were able to part ways with McClain after one drama-filled year because they drafted linebacker C.J. Mosley in the first round. Mosley, one of the leading candidates for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, finished with 52 more tackles than McClain and also topped McClain in sacks and passes defensed.
McClain is set to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and it's unknown whether he is going to return to the Cowboys with Sean Lee expected to return from a knee injury. Just don't expect McClain to end up with the Ravens. In a span of one year with the Ravens, McClain retired twice and dogged his only workout with the team.
Now, with the trade complete, the wacky Rolando McClain era in Baltimore is finally over.
RAVENS 2015 draft picks
First round (one pick), second round (one pick), third round (one pick), fourth round (one pick), fifth round (no pick, traded to Tampa Bay Buccaneers for center Jeremy Zuttah), sixth round (one, traded their own sixth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for a 2014 seventh-rounder that they used to select wide receiver Michael Campanaro and acquired the Cowboys' sixth-rounder in McClain trade in exchange for a seventh-round pick) and seventh round (one, traded their seventh-round pick to Cowboys in McClain deal and acquired the Dolphins' seventh-rounder in the Bryant McKinnie trade).
So, the Ravens currently have six picks, but that number will likely increase. The Ravens are expected to receive three compensatory picks in 2015. They lost four significant unrestricted free agents in defensive end Arthur Jones (Indianapolis), offensive tackle Michael Oher (Tennessee), cornerback Corey Graham (Buffalo) and safety James Ihedigbo (Detroit) and signed one in safety Darian Stewart (St. Louis). Compensatory picks are announced at the NFL owners meetings in March.
Under the condition of the deal, McClain had to play in at least 50 percent of the Cowboys' defensive snaps in order for the teams to swap picks.