The NFL Today: Rolando McClain suspension could portend release
By Jason La Canfora | CBS Sports NFL Insider
December 9, 2012 11:57 am ET
Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain, a 2010 first-round pick, is completing his two-game, team-issued suspension on Sunday and is eligible to return to the club on Monday. However, this suspension could well be the first step to releasing the former eighth overall pick, whom sources confirmed was sent away from the team after engaging in a very loud and volatile argument with coach Dennis Allen a few weeks back, during the individual portion of practice. McClain has not practiced with the team since.
The former Alabama star is no stranger to off-field issues as well, including a December 2011 arrest for assault. Several current and former teammates say privately McClain is a difficult individual to play with and be around at times. McClain is due another $3.6 million in guaranteed money between 2013 and 2014, the remaining years on his deal. But per the language in his contract, the suspension means the Raiders can void the remainder of guaranteed money still owed to him and release him without penalty. Should McClain appeal, the NFLPA would have to make the case that his actions did not amount to "conduct detrimental to the team" in order to recoup that money.
McClain has already pocketed roughly $20 million from the Raiders.
Oakland could be looking at major changes this offseason, with veterans like Carson Palmer and Richard Seymour possibly done there and oft-injured Darren McFadden entering the final year of his deal. Owner Mark Davis has expressed public dissatisfaction with the team's progress in 2012 under the first-year coach Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie.
A large part of McKenzie's job this year was the restoration of order to the team's cap situation, purging bloated contracts and trying to prepare the club for the future. It remains to be seen if McClain will be a part of that purge, though the events of recent weeks would make it much easier now to get out of that deal without major financial ramifications.