Dallas Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain’s future in the NFL is in doubt after reports of a turbulent offseason.
McClain was suspended for ten games on June 30, and now reports from ESPN’s Todd Archer and Jean-Jacques Taylor and Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole say that McClain tested positive for a codeine-based drink called “purple drank,” a mixture of cough syrup and Sprite.
According to Cole, users of purple drank often gain weight, and McClain has allegedly gained 40 pounds this offseason and is “incredibly out of shape.”
According to ESPN, the Cowboys expected McClain to show up for the team’s flight to California for training camp last week, but he didn’t attend and hasn’t since. Now, his career is in jeopardy.
“Even we don’t know all the details,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones told reporters on Tuesday. “We just don’t know.”
When asked if McClain’s career is over, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said, “We’re focused on the guys who are here.”
It’s unclear where the Cowboys and McClain go from here. McClain had twice retired in his five-year career before joining the Cowboys in 2014. According to ESPN, McClain (who was suspended for four games last season for violating the substance abuse policy) is in Stage of the substance abuse program. The NFL could order him to go to a treatment facility, though multiple reports indicate that it’s unclear if he’s been asked to. If he does not go to a treatment facility at the orders of medical directors, he could face a one-year suspension. If the Cowboys decide to release McClain, he would count $750,000 against the salary cap, according to ESPN.
It’s a concerning situation for the Cowboys, as McClain isn’t reportedly close to playing shape, and unless he shows up to training camp, he may not see the field until November. In the meantime, there seem to be concerns about McClain’s well being off the field.
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