TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Former Oakland Raiders first-round pick Rolando McClain is considering a return to the NFL.
The 24-year-old McClain retired last year after signing a one-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens. He’s been taking classes at the University of Alabama, working out and spending time with his two young sons but isn’t ruling out playing somewhere in 2014.
”I’m not going to wait for the door to be closed,” McClain said Wednesday after attending the Crimson Tide’s pro day. ”Right now, I think it’s still open. I’ve still got some things to get in order before we make that decision.”
McClain said agent Pat Dye Jr. has spoken with the Ravens, but he’s not sure if he’d wind up in Baltimore or elsewhere.
The Carroll County Times in Maryland cited an anonymous source Monday in reporting that McClain plans to return to football for the upcoming season.
McClain said he needs only two courses over the summer to graduate from Alabama.
”Right now, I’m just focusing on finishing up my degree,” he said. ”I’ve been working out to stay in shape, but I’m only 24 so it’s hard to get out of shape. I don’t know. Football is football. Right now, I don’t have any plans.”
McClain said the factors in his decision are the same ones that led him to retire.
”Just getting the personal life and everything else in order before you can even try to focus on football,” he said.
”I feel better as a person overall,” he added. ”My two little boys have been doing a great job. They’re 2 so they’re wild, but they keep me busy.”
He had off-the-field issues during his three-year NFL stint, including an arrest in his Alabama hometown 10 days after signing with the Ravens on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He pleaded not guilty.
It was the third time McClain was arrested in Decatur, Ala., since 2011. He was previously charged in a 2011 shooting, and police arrested him in January 2013 on charges of having his car windows tinted too darkly and trying to lie about his identity.
McClain was sentenced to jail on an assault charge after the shooting, but prosecutors later dismissed the case.
A city judge dismissed the January charge against McClain of trying to lie about his identity. He pleaded guilty to the window tint violation and paid a $182 fine.
McClain had 274 tackles, 6-1/2 sacks and an interception in 41 games with Oakland over three seasons. He was the eighth overall pick in the 2010 draft after winning the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker.
These days he said his sons are his top priority and his daily routine consists of ”class, workouts and being a parent.”
”Anybody, when you do have kids, you’re forced to grow up even if you’re not ready,” McClain said. ”They’re just two good little boys.”