The Oakland Raiders are reportedly going to release first round draft bust Rolando McClain following the start of free agency, as part of what will become a series of moves to fix their abhorrent cap situation. The Raiders are currently projected to go into the 2013 season 4.5 million over the cap, but will save roughly $8M over the next two seasons with this release. The timing of this move will allow them to spread the roughly $7M dead money cap hit over the course of the next two seasons.
This is just the tip of the iceberg though. The Raiders are reportedly trying to restructure the contracts of Carson Palmer and Darrius Heyward-Bey as well.
Rolando McClain was supposed to end the streak of horrible drafting in Oakland. Much was made of his first offseason with the team and how he caught the attention of coaches and players alike with his work ethic and eagerness to learn the playbook. He seemed almost like a gimmie with the eighth overall pick. Oh, how fast things can change.
It was all downhill from there though with McClain. Be it the off field incidents or a decline in fitness it all just went terribly wrong. There were multiple arrests, one an assault charge another for illegally tinted windows etc. etc. Then there was his two game suspension mid season that almost resulted in his release at that point. Then there’s his being out of shape. To make matters worse, he couldn’t even make plays on the field and became just another burdensome contract on a team that just seems loaded with them.
The question now is where will he go now? There is no way that some team out there won’t take a flier on McClain. He is only 23 years old, and was a sensational player not so long ago in college. Who knows if, in the right situation, he could find a way to get his career back on track.
The Rams, Steelers, Ravens and Bills all have openings in depth roles, which might just suit McClain at this point in his career. Whatever the case it’s a real shame to see where his career has gone to this point. So much wasted potential, only time will tell if ever regains his form.
You can follow J.D. Burke: @JDBurkeOV
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