As the Oakland Raiders rapidly approach the 2014 NFL Draft, one of their former first round busts, linebacker Rolando McClain was in the news this week. The man affectionately referred to as “Slolando” by Raiders fans, was one of the biggest draft busts for the Silver and Black in recent years.
His name will go down as one of the three worst picks by the Raiders along with wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and quarterback JaMarcus Russell. Unlike the other two, DHB remains in the NFL and will be playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers this season. But despite that fact, he is still a complete bust based on the fact that he was a top ten pick who will never live up to that status.
McClain, much like Russell, will be remembered most for cashing a big check from the Raiders while giving little to no effort to the team. After multiple run ins with the law and a confrontation in practice with head coach Dennis Allen, McClain soon found himself serving a short stint in the dog house before being cut by the Raiders.
He signed with the Baltimore Ravens only to get arrested again and eventually retire from the NFL. That is, until recently when he came out and stated that he wanted back in. He approached Baltimore for a tryout which he received and promptly bombed.
Rolando McClain got his workout w the Ravens and I’m hearing it was NOT a roaring success. Didn’t finish conditioning test, didn’t do drills
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) April 15, 2014
Nice work by colleague @AKinkhabwala on the Rolando McClain report. I asked a source what issues McClain had today — “All of the above”.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 16, 2014
You almost start to feel bad for McClain. Well, almost. And even if you felt a twinge of sorrow for the wasted talent, you will likely lose it upon reading the tweet he sent out shortly after bombing his tryout:
Football was easy. Life is hard. Gotta keep fighting tho
— Rolando McClain (@RMcClain205) April 16, 2014
I would be willing to bet that 99% of the players in the NFL will tell you that playing football is NOT easy. Especially playing at a high enough level to be in the National Football League. It was this cockiness and constant disrespect for the level of devotion and commitment it takes to be great that caused McClain to become a bust. If football was so easy, he would have been able to make the Ravens roster, or at least complete a workout.