As of today Rolando McClain’s two week suspension comes to and end. What happens next is anybody’s guess.
Will McClain return to the active roster? Are the Raiders content to keep him parked until the situation resolves itself?
Whatever the ultimate result the handling of McClain has been horrible from day one. While it has become a popular practice of the new Raider regime to blame the old guard for many of the team’s problems this is one issue in which Reggie McKenzie shares equal blame with Al Davis.
McClain never showed the leadership qualities necessary for a middle linebacker in the NFL. None the less he was forced into a role he was never ready for. With Davis gone it would next fall on the overwhelmed shoulders of Hue Jackson to maximize the most of McClain while providing some direction for a young man looking for his place on the planet. Jackson failed and in many ways enabled McClain.
Now with McKenzie inheriting the problem he too has failed to handle McClain in the most appropriate manner possible.
If Rolando McClain is more trouble than he’s worth then McKenzie should sever ties and be done with it. By playing this selfish game of saving money and punishing a player by not allowing him to seek other work is foolish.
For the rest of this season the McClain question will arise each and every time a member of the media enters the Oakland locker room. Even though he might not be around the presence of McClain will be felt.
Now let’s not kid ourselves. This season is over and has been for more than a month now. So it’s not like the McClain distraction will derail any playoff hopes. Greg Knapp took care of that worry when he was hired.
Instead the continued presence of McClain will only help to further the toxic environment McKenzie sought to rid the franchise of. Problem is based on the quotes McKenzie has given on the subject is it obvious he has no desire to deal with the issue in any way. When asked if he would speak to his troubled linebacker McKenzie gave a very revealing quote.
“It’s going to be on him. I don’t feel the need to approach him. So far, he is not apologetic.”
I feel where McKenzie is coming from. It is on McClain to be a man and own his mistakes or at last be contrite enough to do whatever it takes to get back on the field. Cleary McClain has checked out and in turn McKenzie has done the same.
That is sad.
This new regime has made its fare share of mistakes but that is expected as McKenzie is a first time GM. However this is one mistake for which the solution is simple and will solve plenty of problems going forward. Stop playing games and move on from McClain. If this suspension wasn’t about trying to help McClain then it was a waste of time for all involved. If this was about saving money and finding the most fiscally responsible way to rid the franchise of a problem then it speaks volumes on what we can expect in the coming years.