By Bill Carey
April 10, 2013

Former Oakland Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain is close to a deal with the Baltimore Ravens, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter on Twitter.

McClain would give Baltimore flexibility at linebacker, where the team has lost depth this offseason. Ray Lewis retired after Baltimore won the Super Bowl, and Paul Kruger signed with the Cleveland Browns. Baltimore already added Elvis Dumervil at outside linebacker. McClain would help fill the opening inside.

While no one expects McClain to suddenly match Lewis' production and leadership, he could be a temporary solution. Plus, at only 23 years old, the former first-round pick may still have upside. McClain started 38 games in his three seasons with Oakland. In 2011, he had 79 tackles.

But last season, he lost his starting job and was suspended two games for conduct detrimental to the team. Oakland released him earlier this offseason.

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The Ravens may still address linebacker early in the NFL Draft. But if they can sign McClain, Baltimore would avoid having to reach for a player out of need.

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