Raiders LB Rolando McClain Hopes to Avoid Holdout

Oakland Raiders first-round linebacker Rolando McClain is expected to begin his NFL as a would like to avoid a contract holdout, Michael Wetzel of the Decatur (Al.) Daily reports.

"We haven’t started contract talks," McClain said. "I’m not sure where we are on that. I leave that to (agent) Pat Dye Jr. and the Raiders. I just play football.

"I’m not looking to sit out. In order to play for the team, I need to be in training camp. I’m going to OTAs (organized team activities) and not worried about the contract."

With the Raiders trading restricted free agent middle linebacker Kirk Morrison, who led the team in tackles in each of the last four seasons, to the Jacksonville Jaguars, McClain (6-3, 255) is expected to start immediately.

Playing early is nothing new to McClain, who started 37 of 41 games at the University of Alabama before declaring for the 2010 NFL Draft following a first-team All-American junior season.

McClain credits Alabama head coach Nick Saban with getting him ready to play.

"When I think about my collegiate football days, I give a lot of credit to Coach Saban," Saban said. "I had to do a lot on my part, but mentally he prepared me better than anybody else I know. A lot of my success is because of him."

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