Did McClain make the 'smart' move?

May, 17, 2013
5/17/13
4:00
PM ET
ESPN's Jeffri Chadiha takes the stance that linebacker Rolando McClain made the "smart" move by announcing his retirement this week.

McClain
"This is a man who needed many things to go right just to have a chance at success in Baltimore," Chadiha wrote. "He deserves credit for realizing when enough really is enough. The easy choice for McClain would've been to continue pursuing an NFL career that started with him being the eighth overall selection in the 2010 draft."

While I can see Chadiha's point of view, my response is: McClain needs to prove it's the smart move. He's going to have to show he's capable of getting his life in order on his own before giving him a pat on the back. Until proven otherwise, McClain is still the person who allegedly threatened to kill a man while firing a gun near the victim's head, wrote an expletive on a police citation instead of signing his name and allegedly incited a riot by yelling an expletive at police.

McClain seems to be the type of player who needs structure and supervision. The smart move would've been sticking it out with the Ravens, especially if they were willing to keep him on the roster after his latest arrest. McClain should've reported to the Ravens and spent his entire offseason in Baltimore, where the Ravens have an established mentoring program. Baltimore is also 750 miles away from his hometown of Decatur, Ala., where he was arrested three times in 11 months.

McClain certainly did the Ravens a favor by quitting because they didn't have to make a decision on his future, but he didn't do himself any favors. Putting McClain in a situation where he has more free time on his hands isn't the solution. Putting him in a situation where he is surrounded by teammates, coaches and a player development staff would've been the smarter option.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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