Rolando McClain was a bona fide star at Alabama about a decade ago. Back in 2009, he was a unanimous All-American and helped the Crimson Tide to the BCS National Championship.
The Oakland Raiders took him with the No. 8 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
He went on to play in the NFL from 2010-2015, with solid on-field results overall. In his second year, McClain racked up career highs in tackles (100) and sacks (five).
After three years in Oakland, he played two with the Dallas Cowboys, but his career went off the rails shortly thereafter.
He was suspended indefinitely in 2016 for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. Now, years later, McClain is seeking reinstatement, and wants to relaunch his career.
Rolando McClain, who is just 29, says the way that his NFL career came to a halt has left him unsatisfied.
Per AL.com‘s Matt Zenitz, he’s been in contact with the NFLPA about returning to football, and hopes to be with a team for training camp.
He has taken some steps that could help his chances. In 2016, McClain had surgery to repair a hip issue that had bothered him since he was born, and he says that he now can play on “two legs” for the first time.
While McClain hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2015, he is still only 29 years old and underwent a hip surgery in 2016 that fixed a hip impingement issue he had been born with and that had worsened throughout this football career.
“Every time I got in my linebacker position, it was bone on bone grind,” said McClain, who was selected by the Oakland Raiders with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft. “Not only do I feel good, I’m recovered and I’m rested. I feel better now because I know I’ll be playing with two legs.”
McClain returned to Alabama in 2017 to finish his degree, and has been working out with the Crimson Tide.
Rolando McClain: “I’m nowhere near satisfied with how my professional career has gone. That’s for myself. That’s me looking in the mirror and talking to my boys. Nah, that’s not the taste I want to leave in my mouth.” https://t.co/LC7hsNGfNf
— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) July 12, 2019
In his last NFL season, he played 11 games, putting up 80 total tackles, two sacks, and an interception, which he returned for a touchdown.
Hopefully he has things turned around and will get another shot to finish his career on his terms.