Rolando McClain Suspended, Raiders pave way for Manti Te’o
November 30th Update: It was reported late Wednesday that the Oakland Raiders released LB Rolando McClain, McClain even posted on his Facebook that he was no longer going to be an Oakland Raider. Today, the Oakland Raiders have SUSPENDED, not released Rolando McClain as originally reported.
A suspension only delays what the Raiders could do now and not later. At the end of the season I expect McClain to be released no matter what as it will allow them to draft Notre Dame Linebacker Manti Te’o in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Rolando McClain was nothing but trouble in Oakland as he was arrested and charged with third-degree assault, reckless endangerment and discharging a firearm inside the city limits. It also didn’t help that he didn’t live up to the hype on the field as well. You could say that McClain is a bust after being selected eighth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Considering how young he is, some team is going to take a crack at him and see what they can do with him. They may think they can whip him into shape and get him to be the linebacker everyone projected him out to be. As for Oakland, this is a smart move as now they can move on to another linebacker, a linebacker who is going to be the next great Middle Linebacker in the NFL. The Raiders currently are projected to draft somewhere within the top ten, maybe the top five when the season is all set and done. The Raiders should be able to get Te’o easily but after what we saw last year, the new CBA has green lighted teams taking chances in the draft. Teams moved up and down all through the first round of the 2012 Draft and now that we have a rookie scale, drafting Te’o or any Middle Linebacker wouldn’t be costly.
Before Te’o plans for the NFL Draft, he has a rare opportunity to leave college on top of his game as Notre Dame is playing in the National Championship game for the first time since 1988 season when they were 12-0. Playing on the big stage such as the National Championship game will move Te’o's stock up and could mean a lesser chance the Raiders have to draft him come April. Though this shouldn’t be the problems as right now the Raiders would own the third overall pick in the draft and considering neither Kansas City or Jacksonville need Linebacker help, he should be an Oakland Raider.
The Oakland Raiders have removed another bust from the Al Davis era as new general manager Reggie McKenzie seems to be moving away from busts under Al Davis. While they removed one headache, another team may see McClain as treasure, the real treasure is Manti Te’o who the Raiders are ready to welcome with open arms.
Mike Presley is a NFL Writer for The Penalty Flag. He is a graduate of the Carolina School of Broadcasting and hosts a weekly NFL show on 89.3 The Storm on Thursdays from 4PM-6PM called “The Front Seven.” Mike writes for the racing website www.hardcoreracefans.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepresley64.