- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Ravens need to cut their ties to McClain. They should either call free agent Karlos Dansby this morning or select an inside linebacker in the first couple of rounds of the draft. It goes beyond disorderly conduct because McClain has been charged with more serious offenses in the past. Getting arrested 10 days after signing a contract with the Ravens shows once again he isn't really committed to playing in the NFL.
General manager Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens decided to give McClain a second chance (and it certainly helped McClain's cause that Baltimore desperately needed an inside linebacker), and McClain didn't even get to his first Ravens practice without getting arrested. The Ravens can't be surprised by this, and it's one of the reasons they signed him to a no-risk, one-year deal that didn't include a signing bonus. Baltimore can release him at any time and he won't count one dollar against the cap.
"As for how he is going to conduct himself here, he is coming here just to be a part of this football team," Newsome said last week when asked about McClain. "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 his football players to be.”
The problem is getting McClain to the locker room in Baltimore in the offseason. McClain has now been arrested three times in his hometown of Decatur since 2011. It was less than two years ago when McClain allegedly fired a gun next to a man's head during a fight. The case was dismissed last year when the alleged victim declined to go forward with the case after reaching a financial settlement with his former high school classmate.
Now, it's being reported that McClain was part of a crowd that had gathered in a park Sunday evening and allegedly refused to leave when told by police to do so. According to the report, McClain allegedly began cursing at the officers. Authorities said McClain was eventually handcuffed and taken to the city jail before bonding out a short time later.
When looking at draft prospects, Ravens officials have often said they're able to overlook a mistake in the past because no one is perfect. But repeated mistakes are a sign of bad character. McClain falls into that category, and his latest arrest is just another reminder of that.
I'm sure McClain can help the Ravens' new-look defense. He is a talented linebacker. His problems are when he's not chasing down running backs. The Oakland Raiders eventually got tired of McClain and released him on April 5. The Ravens need to follow suit and find someone who wants to be their inside linebacker and not a distraction.