While Team USA battled valiantly yesterday ultimately in defeat to Belgium in the World Cup, news surfaced in the NFL from both the Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys.
While the Cowboys found a possible replacement for injured middle linebacker Sean Lee (torn ACL) in a trade with the Ravens, the Buffalo Bills received devastating news on their line-backing front with the possible loss of rising star, Kiko Alonso for the season with a similar knee injury.
Dallas traded a seventh round pick to the Baltimore Ravens for linebacker Rolando McClain and a six round pick. In a low risk high reward move Dallas has reached for the bottom of the barrel to replace what has been lost in the player of Lee's talents.
McClain, 24, is a former first round draft choice of the Oakland Raiders (8th Overall, 2010) who has never quite seemed to live up to his billing coming out of powerhouse Alabama. After three under whelming seasons and multiple on and off the field incidents, McClain was released from his contract with Oakland. He made waves in the football world being quoted as such "Officially no longer an Oakland Raider!!" and "Well technically I am, but I'm mentally done."
McClain wasn't kidding around. Released on April 5th, 2013, McClain figured to have many suitors for his services to turn around the troubled linebacker's career. Quickly after his release McClain was signed by the Baltimore Ravens with the chance to help fill the void left by the departure of hall of fame LB Ray Lewis. There was the thought that Ravens' general manger Ozzie Newsome had struck gold once again in his storied front office career, but McClain never played a down for Baltimore.
He announced his retirement from the NFL in May, 2013 and has been off the NFL radar since until the transaction yesterday where Dallas traded for the troubled youngster.
Reports have surfaced that McClain is short on money/income and that could be perhaps his sole motivation to get back into the NFL at some capacity. He will be given the opportunity to win a job in training camp in competition with fellow LB's Justin Durant, DeVonte Holloman, and Anthony Hitchens. All unproven options at the NFL level.
Is this the best the 'Boys could do? The jury remains out on McClain as he cannot be seriously trusted with any role in an NFL uniform. It's hard to tell if his heart will be really in it come time when the pads are put on. McClain has also been arrested three times since 2011, but perhaps Jerry Jones and Company. can turn the young man's life around with a solid opportunity in Dallas.
"The Legend of Kiko"
Reports surfaced late yesterday, that Bills rising star WLB Kiko Alonso had suffered a torn ACL while working out where he attended college at the University of Oregon.
Alonso became a huge part of the Bills defense in his rookie year in 2013, while finishing second in DROY (defensive rookie of the year). He didn't miss a single snap for the Bills defense in '13, finishing with 159 tackles, two sacks and four interceptions showing tremendous versatility both against the rush and in pass coverage.
He became an instant Bills fan favorite and was expected to build off his terrific rookie year in 2014 with an improved Bills defense, where some experts believe could challenge the New England Patriots for AFC East supremacy this season.
And such as the Cowboys , now the Bills will be looking to replace an indispensable part of their defense for the '14 season with training camp nearly three weeks away.
Fans in Buffalo deserve better but this is the NFL, the war of attrition has begun.
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