McClain with the Oakland Raiders in 2010
July 14, 1989 |
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||255 lb (116 kg)|
|High school:||Decatur (AL)|
|NFL Draft:||2010 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2015|
Rolando Marquise McClain (born July 14, 1989) is an American football linebacker who is currently a free agent, following his indefinite suspension in 2016 for violations of the NFL substance abuse policy. He played college football at Alabama, where he was recognized as a unanimous All-American and won the 2010 BCS National Championship. He was selected eighth overall by the Oakland Raiders in 2010 NFL Draft.
McClain attended Decatur High School in Decatur, Alabama, where he played linebacker and tight end for the Decatur Red Raiders high school football team. As a junior, he made 104 tackles, 11 for loss, four sacks, an interception, three forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery to go along with his 24 receptions for 436 yards on the offensive side of the ball. McClain's senior season ended with 106 tackles and 13 for loss, which led to Parade All-American honors, and selection to play in the first Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, McClain was listed as the No. 2 inside linebacker in the nation in 2007. He chose Alabama over offers from Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and Louisville.
As a true freshman in 2007, McClain started 8 of 13 games, finishing the season with 75 tackles, two interceptions, and a sack. He was recognized as a freshmen All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection.
During his junior year in 2009, McClain had 105 tackles including 14.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, fourteen quarterback hurries, two interceptions, three passes broken up, and a forced fumble. He was named Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) National Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against Kentucky in early October. Following the SEC Championship Game, Rolando was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year, and a first-team All-SEC selection.
On December 7, 2009, McClain was announced as the winner of the 2009 Lambert Award for the best collegiate linebacker. He is the first Alabama linebacker to win the Lambert Award since its inception in 1991. A day later, he was also awarded the 2009 Dick Butkus Award, being only the second Crimson Tide player to do so (along with Derrick Thomas in 1988). He was recognized a unanimous first-team All-American, after being named to the first teams of the American Football Coaches Association, Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News, and Walter Camp Football Foundation.
McClain was selected by the Oakland Raiders with the eighth overall pick in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He was the highest drafted Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker since Keith McCants went fourth overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1990 NFL Draft.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40‑yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20‑ss||3‑cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP||Wonderlic|
|6 ft 3 3⁄8 in
|9 3⁄8 in
|4.68 s||1.62 s||2.72 s||4.38 s||7.16 s||35 in
|9 ft 1 in
|Measurables and BP from NFL Combine, all others from Alabama Pro Day|
McClain signed his contract with the Oakland Raiders on July 28, 2010, in time to make the first day of training camp. The contract was estimated to be for $40 million over 5 years.
McClain finished his first season with 85 tackles (second on the team), 0.5 sacks, one interception, and 6 passes defended. In week 2 of the 2010 season against the St. Louis Rams, McClain body slammed Danny Amendola, which drew an "unnecessary roughness" call and eventually a $5,000 fine by the NFL. He recorded his first career sack in week 7 against Kyle Orton of the Denver Broncos and his first career interception in week 12 against Chad Henne of the Miami Dolphins.
In 2011, he appeared in 15 games (14 starts), posting 99 tackles (second on the team), 77 solo tackles, 5 sacks, 14 passes defensed, and one safety.
During the 2012 NFL season, in which the Raiders' defense struggled and was statistically the worst defense in the league, McClain saw his playing time decrease following a 37-6 rout by the division rival Denver Broncos. During a week 4 game against Denver, McClain played in 73 snaps, but following the bye, the Raiders made the decision to replace him with 4th round rookie Miles Burris in their nickel package, resulting in McClain playing only 17 snaps compared to Burris' 55 in the week 6 game against the Atlanta Falcons. Head coach Dennis Allen said he has been impressed with Burris' ability to make corrections on the fly, and that the linebacker was not a "repeat offender" when it came to mistakes and a smart football player overall, indicating the coaching staff's belief that McClain was guilty of poor decision-making and too many errors. According to sources within the Raiders, it was reported by NFL.com's Albert Breer and Ian Rapoport that McClain had been kicked out of an official team practice session on November 29 due to an "incident". McClain then took to social media outlet Facebook and released a series of comments stating that he was ". . .no longer an Oakland Raider!!" and that he was ". . .mentally done." with the team, wishing ". . .to be anywhere besides here". He appeared in 11 games (9 starts), registering 90 tackles, one sack, 3 passes defensed and one forced fumble.
After various off-the-field incidents, however, he was waived by the Raiders on April 5, 2013. McClain had been drafted with the hopes that he could help improve the Raiders' run defense, an area where the team had been consistently among the worst in the league. Following a string of poor first round picks by late owner/GM Al Davis, the selection of McClain was applauded by many analysts. However, throughout his tenure with the Raiders, the team remained poor at defending the run.
On July 1, 2014, after linebacker Sean Lee was lost for the season, the Dallas Cowboys acquired McClain along with a seventh-round pick (#243-Laurence Gibson) from the Baltimore Ravens, in exchange for a sixth round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft (#204-Darren Waller). At the time the move was seen as a gamble because of his previous career history and character concerns. The trade paid off, with McClain becoming an unquestioned team leader and playing a critical role in the resurgence of the Cowboys’ previously-suspect defense. Although he was slowed down with groin and knee injuries after week 9 of the season, the unit raised its level when he was healthy and was setting the tone with his physical style and play-making ability. He finished with 12 starts in 13 games, one sack, five quarterback pressures, nine tackles for loss, two interceptions, five passes defensed, one forced fumble and 81 tackles. He also took part in his first NFL playoff games, but suffered concussions in both contests.
On April 1, 2015, McClain agreed to a new one-year, $3 million contract with the Cowboys. On July 2, the NFL announced that he would be suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He also had a surprise knee surgery during the offseason, which forced him to miss the entire conditioning program and most of training camp. He played in 11 of 12 games as the starting middle linebacker, with Lee moving to weakside linebacker. Although he got off to a slow start in his return from the suspension, he finished with 97 tackles (third on the team), 2 sacks, 3 passes defensed, and returned an interception for a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins.
On March 9, 2016, McClain agreed to another one-year deal with the Cowboys for $5 million. On June 30, he was suspended for the second season in a row for violating the NFL substance abuse policy, this time for the first 10 games of the 2016 NFL season. Midway through the season, he then failed another drug test and his suspension was extended indefinitely. On August 2, it was reported that McClain had become addicted to codeine after consuming the mixture known as purple drank, and that he is "a long way from ever resuming his NFL career". Jason Cole of Bleacher Report said McClain's return to the Cowboys is "almost impossible".
McClain was born in Decatur, Alabama to parents Roland Ervin Jr and Tonya Malone. He grew up in the projects of Decatur, Alabama. At 15, Rolando received a restraining order against his mother after she beat him and threatened him with a knife. At 16, she was arrested after she threatened his entire high school which resulted in a school lock down. During the trial she was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. His estranged father was granted custody but McClain left to return to Decatur to stay eligible for football. He lived with several families his junior year. McClain could be considered to have been "on his own" since he was 15.
McClain's cousin Le'Ron McClain also played football at the University of Alabama, and played for three different NFL teams during 2007–2013.
On December 1, 2011, McClain was arrested by Decatur police and charged with third-degree assault, menacing, reckless endangerment, and discharging a firearm inside the city limits, all of which are misdemeanors, for a shooting incident that occurred the night before. On May 17, 2012, McClain was found guilty on all counts, ordered to pay a $500 fine for each charge, totaling $2,000, and sentenced to spend 45 days in jail for each charge, 180 in total. He was freed on bond, and will begin serving his sentence on June 1. On November 18, 2012, while the case was on appeal, the charges were dismissed by the Judge after the victim decided not to press charges. According to lawyers involved, a financial settlement was reached between McClain and the victim.
On January 8, 2013, he was arrested by Decatur Police in Morgan County after an officer pulled him over for a window tint violation. McClain provided the officer with a false name and he was arrested and booked into the Decatur City Jail. McClain bonded out of jail later that day.
In January 2013, McClain married Capri Knox, with whom he had two sons, and they moved to Madison, Alabama. McClain and Knox had first met in 2007 at the University of Alabama where she was a member of the Alabama Track team. In September 2013, he filed for divorce. However, in an interview in October 2014, he said he wishes to be a better husband – thus indicating that he is still married.
On April 21, 2013, McClain was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Between his departure from the Ravens in May 2013 and his return to football with the Dallas Cowboys in July 2014, McClain moved to Tuscaloosa, where he re-enrolled at the University of Alabama to try to finish his bachelor's degree in family financial planning. He was still a few credits short of the degree when he joined the Dallas Cowboys.
On August 2, 2016, after his suspension in June 2016 for violating the NFL substance abuse policy, it was reported that McClain had become addicted to codeine after consuming the mixture known as purple drank.
On May 12, 2017, he was arrested on equipment violations, firearm and drug charges, according to the Hartselle Police Department. 
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