Oakland Raiders starting middle linebacker Rolando McClain was sentenced in May to six months in jail after he was convicted of third-degree assault, menacing, reckless endangerment and illegal discharge of a firearm.
His case is under appeal in the court system. The same is apparently true with the NFL, where McClain has not heard about any possible suspension. He claims he hasn't even thought about the possibility.
"I don't think I've ever had a talk of anything about a suspension," McClain said Monday, via the Oakland Tribune. "I haven't heard it. I guess that's all speculation."
The NFL doesn't have a hard and fast rule about when it suspends players. In this case, the league appears to be waiting for the legal process to run its course. If McClain loses his appeal, he could wind up with a double whammy of jail time and a suspension. In the meantime, he's trying to become more of a leader for the Raiders' defense.
"I was a pretty good leader at Alabama in college," McClain said. "It's different here. You're not dealing with guys your own age. You're dealing with grown men. Being a leader is just not about yelling, but understanding guys that you're working with. Different people respond to different things in different ways. It's figuring out your teammates and how they respond to things to get them to work."
McClain's best bid for leadership would be to be more consistent on the field. He makes some great plays, but also gives up too many big plays. He now has two new starting linebackers next to him in Philip Wheeler and rookie Miles Burris.
McClain essentially is a new player to this coaching staff, too. He has to prove to coach Dennis Allen he's worthy of being kept even after a potential suspension.
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.