Originally published on SBReport.net on Nov. 28, 2012
Reports quickly surfaced during the Raiders practice on Wednesday that linebacker Rolando McClain was being withheld from practice due to team reasons. These reports, along with statements made on Rolando McClain’s Facebook wall led to belief that the linebacker was on his way out of Oakland.
McClain wrote on his Facebook wall earlier Wednesday that he was “Officially no longer an Oakland Raider!!” but later erased his statements.
McClain was widely regarded as the best linebacker in the draft before being taken 8th overall by the late Al Davis in 2010. The former Butkus Award winner, given to the Nation’s top linebacker in NCAA Football, has widely struggled during his time in the NFL and has seen his playing time cut down significantly this season.
Head coach Dennis Allen and defensive coordinator Jason Tarver released him of his duties as the player with the green dot on defense in favor of fellow linebacker Philip Wheeler.
McClain was again a victim of a long run as he whiffed on a tackle last week that enabled Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis to scamper for a career-high 48-yard run. McClain also notably whiffed when attempting to take down Buccaneers running back Doug Martin that allowed a long touchdown run.
The Raiders will either have to fill the void via free agency or possibly insert newly acquired Omar Gaither into the starting lineup should McClain be released on Thursday as expected. The roster move will save the Raiders nearly $7 million dollars in salary cap next year, something that the Raiders need after general manager Reggie McKenzie inherited a team with minimal cap space last offseason.
After placing Aaron Curry on waivers last week, the release of McClain would mark the second former Butkus Award Winner that the team has released in two weeks. With Travis Goethel currently being on the injured reserve, McClain marks the last linebacker on the active roster that was on the roster last season.
It is largely believed that McClain’s future with the team will be made known tomorrow.