The Baltimore Ravens wanted to save some money and released linebacker Jameel McClain after six season with the team, which will make him a very popular free agent very soon, already picking up interest from the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills, and might also attract the Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts.
The Bills were the first team to host McClain, who’ll be 29 when the 2014 season begins, at their facility. The New York Giants are next, and according to Dan Graziano, he might find the best fit with the NFC East team than anywhere else.
McClain can play quite a few positions, moved around quite a bit by the Ravens in their 3-4 defense over the years. However, he is at his best in the middle, which is probably what most teams intend for him if he’s penned to be a starter. As a backup, he can pretty much plug holes anywhere in the second line, but he isn’t quick enough to be someone who fills in as a major pass-rushing threat, picking up 4.5 sacks through his six season career with the Ravens.
He was due to make $3.2 million next season, but the Ravens feel they have a younger, cheaper and better player coming up to fill the position so they decided to release him. If the Giants don’t bring back Jon Beason, McClain will be an even more likelier target to become a Giants player next season.
McClain missed six games last season but it doesn’t seem like it’s an injury that will keep him from missing OTAs or anything preseason related. He is one of the few players to have two safeties in the same season (Rookie year, 2008), and has played a total of 87 games for the Ravens; all 16 in the first four seasons, but missing a total of nine, not including the playoffs, in 2012-2013.