Rolando McClain can officially return to the NFL. Again.
The linebacker was conditionally reinstated by the league, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
Pro Football Talk first reported the news.
It’s been three years since McClain played a snap of NFL football. He last played in the league in 2015 as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. He was suspended indefinitely in 2016 for repeated failed drug tests.
The 30-year-old said back in July that he planned to go through the process of trying to get reinstated, citing that he wants to rewrite his NFL story.
“I’m nowhere near satisfied with how my professional career has gone,” McClain told Matt Zenitz of AL.com at the time. “That’s for myself. That’s me looking in the mirror and talking to my boys. Nah, that’s not the taste I want to leave in my mouth.”
After a star-studded career at Alabama under Nick Saban, the Oakland Raiders scooped up McClain with the No. 8 overall pick in 2010. After struggles both on and off the field, the Raiders washed their hands of McClain after three seasons.
The Baltimore Ravens, led by former Crimson Tide great Ozzie Newsome, signed McClain in April 2013. The linebacker, however, stunningly announced his (first) retirement the following month at the age of 23. After sitting out the 2013 campaign, McClain unretired and joined the Cowboys in 2014 where he played 24 games over two seasons, before once again being hit with a suspension.
The Cowboys technically hold McClain’s rights if they choose to bring him back. Given their current depth at the position, however, it doesn’t seem likely.
Getting conditionally reinstated is just one step in a lengthy process of McClain finding his way back to the field. First, it’d be finding someone to give him a chance.