The Oakland Raiders drafted linebacker Rolando McClain with the eighth overall pick in 2010, expecting him to lead their defense for years to come. That was a few coaches ago. Now McClain already might be winding down his time with the team.
McClain played just 17 snaps last week against the Atlanta Falcons after averaging 68 snaps per game in the season's first four weeks. First-year coach Dennis Allen looked at his team during the bye week and decided less was more with McClain.
"I think when we went back and looked and saw how many plays that Rolando was playing, it had a factor in his conditioning," Allen said Thursday, via the Associated Press. "We felt like him not playing quite as many plays would help him to play better and be more effective, and I think it had that effect in this game."
McClain didn't have a problem with it.
"You make the plays that are there to make," he said.
So McClain was effective as a role player. He wasn't effective as an every-down starter. He's due $4 million next season and could be suspended if his legal troubles come home to roost. You don't pay a part-time player $4 million.
Barring a big turnaround for McClain, he doesn't look like a part of Oakland's future.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.