Rolando McClain opens up on retiring at 23, says he must get life together

Oakland Raiders middle linebacker Rolando McClain (55) warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at O.co Coliseum. Detroit defeated Oakland 28-27. (Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports)

Oakland Raiders middle linebacker Rolando McClain (55) warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at O.co Coliseum. Detroit defeated Oakland 28-27. (Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports)

Rolando McClain shocked the football world recently when he announced that he would be retiring from the game at the ripe age of only 23. This after being selected by the Oakland Raiders with the eighth-overall pick three years prior and having just signed a one-year contract to join the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. It is well documented the off the field troubles McClain has had in his brief career, but no one expected him to retire.

Such an uproar cannot be ignored forever. On Thursday, McClain explained the rationale behind his decision.

“Clearly, my decision to retire has raised some questions. Quite simply, I love football, but I have decided at this time it is in my best interest to focus on getting my personal life together,” McClain said in a statement obtained by NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, via NFL.com’s Marc Sessler.

“Beyond that, I’m not sure what the future holds for me, including football. This was entirely my decision and the Ravens have been very supportive during this process.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity they gave me and wish them the best of luck in the future. God willing, maybe I’ll play for them one day.”

After winning the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker, McClain spent three years in Oakland and ultimately never fulfilled the expectations if a top ten pick.

The Ravens were willing to take a chance on him purely due to his unbelievable talent level. However, if he is unable to clean up his act now that he has literally given up the game to do so, there is very little hope we will see him again on Sundays.

 Full report on McClain’s decision to retire from the NFL