BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Rolando McClain, who remains on the Ravens’ reserve-retired list, says he walked away from football because he was concerned about self-destructive behavior or doing harm to others.
The eighth overall pick by the Oakland Raiders in the 2010 NFL draft told ESPN The Magazine he had dark thoughts.
“I felt like Aaron Hernandez,” the former linebacker said in the article. “Like I just wanted to kill somebody.”
McClain, 24, said he felt overwhelmed by the stresses of the NFL. He says friends and relatives asked him for money, with about $600,000 spent on them during six months after he signed his rookie contract that included $23 million in guaranteed money. Oakland would eventually release him, and the Ravens had hoped to turn his troubles around.
McClain said Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome attempted to talk him out of retiring.
McClain was placed on the Ravens’ reserve-retired list shortly after being signed to a one-year, $700,000 non-guaranteed contract and then getting arrested April 21 in his hometown of Decatur, Ala., on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He’s pleaded not guilty and has a December court date.
The Ravens retain McClain’s contractual rights and can activate him at any time
Other than meeting with Newsome and coach John Harbaugh when he signed, McClain didn’t have any activity with the Ravens and never practiced with the team.
McClain said he has anger management issues, but doesn’t want to attend therapy.
“I’m scared of what he might figure out about me,” McClain said in the article. “I don’t know if I’m ready to know, man, why I was so angry. I don’t know if I’m ready to know what triggers my anger. I just feel like I figured out on my own how to stay calm, how to enjoy life, how to be happy. Eventually, I might find the source of the problem, get over it.”
McClain is living in Alabama and going to school.
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