- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Baltimore Ravens are surprisingly not giving up on Rolando McClain despite his latest arrest. Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta told fans at The Baltimore Sun Sports Forum that McClain "deserves a second chance."
If you're counting at home, McClain is actually on his fourth chance in the NFL. The Ravens' real message to McClain should be: You're getting one final chance. McClain has been arrested three times in 11 months, all in his hometown of Decatur, Ala. He has been arrested for firing a gun next to someone's head, writing an expletive on a police citation instead of his real name and inciting a crowd by shouting expletives at police.
As I've written previously, I thought the Ravens would release McClain when he got arrested 10 days after signing a one-year contract with Baltimore. Ravens coach John Harbaugh has talked in the past how he has gone to great lengths to clean up the team's image. Taking in someone who was deemed too much of a bad boy for the Oakland Raiders doesn't fit Harbaugh's vision for the team.
By keeping McClain, this tells me that the Ravens really need him, even after they traded up in the second round to draft inside linebacker Arthur Brown. Maybe the Ravens aren't certain that Brown can start right away. He is converting from a 4-3 defense at Kansas State. And, when seeing Brown at Ravens rookie minicamp, he was so small-framed that he looked more like a running back. Perhaps the Ravens are hoping McClain can be that one-year bridge until Brown can take over as starter.
McClain, a former first-round pick by the Raiders, pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of violating rules on car window tint. He paid $186 to settle the fine and court costs. McClain still has a July 9 court date for a disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in April. Based on McClain's past year in his hometown, the Ravens better make sure McClain doesn't hang around in Decatur, Ala., for too long.