Rolando McClain
refer to caption
McClain with the Oakland Raiders in 2010
No. 55
Personal information
Born: (1989-07-14) July 14, 1989 (age 33)
Athens, Alabama
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:255 lb (116 kg)
Career information
High school:Decatur (Decatur, Alabama)
College:Alabama (2007–2009)
NFL Draft:2010 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Total tackles:407
Forced fumbles:2
Defensive touchdowns:1
Player stats at

Rolando Marquise McClain (born July 14, 1989) is a former American football linebacker. 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.

Early years

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.

During his high school years, he was diagnosed with Crohn's disease,[1] although later tests seemed to indicate that was a misdiagnosis.[2]

Considered a four-star recruit by,[3] McClain was listed as the No. 2 inside linebacker in the nation in 2007.[4] He chose Alabama over offers from Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and Louisville.

College career

McClain accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Alabama, where he played for coach Nick Saban's Alabama Crimson Tide football team from 2007 to 2009.

2007 season

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 Southeastern Conference (SEC) All-Freshman selection.

2008 season

As a sophomore in 2008, McClain compiled 95 tackles, three sacks, and an interception, earning Associated Press (AP) third-team All-American honors, and was a first-team All-SEC selection.

2009 season

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.[5] 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.[6] 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).[7] 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.[8][9]

On January 11, 2010, a few days after winning the BCS National Championship, McClain decided to forgo his senior year at Alabama and enter the 2010 NFL Draft.[10]

College statistics

NCAA career statistics
Season Team Class GP Tackling Interceptions
Cmb Solo Ast TfL Sck Int Yds Avg TD PD
2007 Alabama FR 13 74 38 36 5.0 1.0 2 40 20.0 0 0
2008 Alabama SO 14 95 48 47 12.0 3.0 1 12 12.0 0 0
2009 Alabama JR 14 105 53 52 14.5 4.0 2 21 10.5 0 0
Career 41 274 139 135 31.5 8.0 5 73 14.6 0 0

Professional career

Oakland Raiders

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.

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press Wonderlic
6 ft 3+38 in
(1.91 m)
254 lb
(115 kg)
33 in
(0.84 m)
9+38 in
(0.24 m)
4.68 s 1.62 s 2.72 s 4.38 s 7.16 s 35.0 in
(0.89 m)
9 ft 1 in
(2.77 m)
24 reps 16
Measurables and BP from NFL Combine, all others from Alabama Pro Day[11][12]

2010 season

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.[13]

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.[14] 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.

2011 season

In 2011, he appeared in 15 games (14 starts), posting 99 tackles (second on the team), 77 solo tackles, 5 sacks, 14 passes defended, and one safety.

2012 season

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.[15] According to sources within the Raiders, it was reported by'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".[16] 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".[17] 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.[18]

Baltimore Ravens

McClain signed with the Baltimore Ravens on April 10, 2013.[19] The contract was reportedly a one-year, $700,000 deal that included no guaranteed money.[20] On May 15, McClain announced his retirement at the age of 23, before even the beginning of the offseason training camp.[21][22]

Dallas Cowboys

2014 season

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 Ravens, in exchange for a sixth round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft (#204-Darren Waller).[23][24] 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.[25] 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.

2015 season

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.[26] 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.

2016 season

On March 9, 2016, McClain agreed to another one-year deal with the Cowboys for $5 million.[27] 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.[28] Midway through the season, he then failed another drug test and his suspension was extended indefinitely.[29][30] 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".[31][32] Jason Cole of Bleacher Report said McClain's return to the Cowboys is "almost impossible".[32] In December 2016 he was suspended indefinitely.[33]

McClain was conditionally reinstated by the NFL on August 30, 2019.[34] However, he was released by the Cowboys when the reinstatement became official on September 2, 2019. He was suspended indefinitely again on December 30, 2019.[35]

NFL career statistics

Year Team Games Tackles Fumbles Interceptions
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck FF FR Yds TD Int Yds Avg Lng TD PD
2010 Oakland 15 15 85 59 26 0.5 0 0 0 0 1 10 10.0 10 0 6
2011 Oakland 15 14 100 79 21 5.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 11
2012 Oakland 11 9 60 37 23 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2014 Dallas 13 12 87 67 20 1.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.0 0 0 3
2015 Dallas 11 11 80 50 30 2.0 0 0 0 0 1 12 12.0 12 1 3
Career 65 61 412 292 120 9.5 2 0 0 0 4 22 5.5 12 1 23

Personal life

McClain was born in Athens, 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.[36]

In April 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.[37] In September 2013, he filed for divorce.[38] However, in an interview in October 2014, he said he wishes to be a better husband – thus records indicating that the two had been divorced since January 2014.[39]

In December 2017, McClain graduated from the University of Alabama.[40]

Legal issues

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.[41][42] 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.[43] 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.[44]

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.[45]

On April 21, 2013, McClain was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.[46]

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.[22] He was still a few credits short of the degree when he joined the Dallas Cowboys. He eventually graduated with his degree in December 2017

On December 22, 2014, he lost his Tuscaloosa house due to a fire that was eventually ruled as an arson.[47] At the time, the house was vacant and listed for sale.

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.[31][32]

On May 12, 2017, he was arrested on equipment violations, firearm and drug charges, according to the Hartselle Police Department.[48]

On July 30th, 2022, he was arrested on drug and weapons charges, according to the Moulton Police Department.


  1. ^ CBS Sports ROLANDO MCCLAIN, ILB, retrieved April 23, 2010
  2. ^ Vittorio Tafur (May 2, 2010). "First-round pick McClain blends in with Raiders". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  3. ^ Rolando McClain Recruiting Profile
  4. ^ inside linebackers 2007
  5. ^ "McClain named National Defensive Player of the Week",, October 6, 2009
  6. ^ "McClain wins Jack Lambert Award",, December 7, 2009
  7. ^ "McClain wins Butkus Award", AP, ESPN, December 8, 2009
  8. ^ 2011 NCAA Football Records Book, Award Winners, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Indianapolis, Indiana, p. 12 (2011). Retrieved June 30, 2012.
  9. ^ "Crimson Tide place six on AP All-American Team",, December 15, 2009[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Estes, Gentry (January 11, 2010). "Tide LB Rolando McClain to enter the 2010 NFL draft". Mobile Press-Register. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
  11. ^ "Rolando McClain Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  12. ^ "Rolando McClain Draft Profile". Retrieved November 14, 2010.
  13. ^ "Source: Oakland Raiders' Rolando McClain gets $23M guaranteed". July 29, 2010.
  14. ^ Williamson, Bill (September 24, 2010). "Rolando McClain fined for body slam".
  15. ^ Zimmerman, Kevin (October 17, 2012). "Raiders' Miles Burris is passing Rolando McClain".
  16. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (November 28, 2012). "Rolando McClain booted from Oakland Raiders practice".
  17. ^ Sessler, Marc (November 28, 2012). "Rolando McClain wants off Oakland Raiders' roster".
  18. ^ Dubow, Josh (April 5, 2013). "Raiders waive LB Rolando McClain". Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  19. ^ Report: Rolando McClain Says He's Signing 1-Year Deal With Ravens
  20. ^ Sun, By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore. "Rolando McClain informs Ravens that he will retire". Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  21. ^ McIntyre, Brian (May 15, 2013). "Rolando McClain retires from the NFL ... at age 23". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  22. ^ a b Wickersham, Seth (October 30, 2013). "Former Oakland Raiders, Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain's self-imposed exile". ESPN The Magazine.
  23. ^ "Rolando McClain traded to Cowboys". July 2, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  24. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (July 1, 2014). "Rolando McClain acquired by Dallas Cowboys". Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  25. ^ "Dallas Cowboys position reviews: Linebackers - NFC East- ESPN". January 29, 2015.
  26. ^ Orr, Conor (July 2, 2015). "Cowboys' Rolando McClain suspended four games". Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  27. ^ "Cowboys re-sign Rolando McClain to one-year deal". Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  28. ^ "Rolando McClain reportedly suspended 10 games for violating NFL substance-abuse policy".
  29. ^ Mada, A. J. (May 17, 2017). "The NFL tragedy that is suspended Cowboys LB Rolando McClain". USA Today. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  30. ^ Archer, Todd (August 1, 2017). "Cowboys face fines for suspended players for second straight year". ESPN. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  31. ^ a b George, Brandon; Moore, David. "Sources: 'Purple drank' addiction, NFL drug policy cloud LB Rolando McClain's future with Cowboys". Dallas Morning News SportsDay. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  32. ^ a b c Griffin, Tim (August 3, 2016). "Report: Rolando McClain addicted to purple drank, now 40 pounds heavier". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  33. ^ "Rolando McClain arrested on drug, firearm charges in Alabama". ESPN. May 13, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  34. ^ Patra, Kevin (August 30, 2019). "Rolando McClain conditionally reinstated by NFL". Retrieved August 30, 2019.
  35. ^ Williams, Charean (December 30, 2019). "NFL indefinitely suspends Rolando McClain". Retrieved December 31, 2019.
  36. ^ "Community helps Alabama's Rolando McClain grab NFL jackpot". Birmingham News. April 25, 2010.
  37. ^ Rolando McClain, Madison's newest resident, opens up about his life and his focus to make things right/
  38. ^ On January 13, 2014 Rolando officially divorced Capri Knox after only being married for less than 9 months Ex-Alabama football star Rolando McClain files for divorce from wife of 5 months
  39. ^ He didn't deserve to play; now he's the best athlete on Cowboys' defense
  40. ^ "Rolando McClain, 13 current Alabama players graduating". December 15, 2017.
  41. ^ Clines, Keith (December 1, 2011). "Former Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain arrested in Decatur". The Huntsville Times.
  42. ^ McDonald, Jerry (December 1, 2011). "Oakland Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain facing four charges in hometown of Decatur, Ala". Bay Area News Group. Archived from the original on December 5, 2011. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
  43. ^ Voight, Josh (May 17, 2012). "Rolando McClain found guilty". WAAY. Archived from the original on May 18, 2012.
  44. ^ "McClain charges dropped: Criminal case dismissed on alleged victim's request". Decatur Daily. November 19, 2012. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013.
  45. ^ Voight, Josh (January 8, 2013). "Rolando McClain Arrested Again In Morgan County". WHNT.
  46. ^ Jones, Monique; Zrebiec, Jeff (April 22, 2013). "Ravens' Rolando McClain arrested in Alabama". Baltimore Sun.
  47. ^ "Fire at Dallas Cowboys LB Rolando McClain's house ruled arson". February 13, 2015.
  48. ^ "Police: Rolando McClain arrested in Hartselle on marijuana, firearm charges".