Former University of Alabama, Decatur High and NFL linebacker Rolando McClain pleaded guilty this week to a traffic violation and a misdemeanor stemming from a 2017 arrest and had another misdemeanor charge dismissed.
The case was remanded from the Morgan County Circuit Court to the Hartselle Municipal Court on Tuesday for sentencing on the guilty pleas for a traffic violation of excessively tinted windows and one count of misdemeanor possession of marijuana. The remaining misdemeanor charge, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, was dismissed.
“I’m pleased we were able to get these minor charges behind him and now Rolando can focus on getting back to the NFL,” Carl Cole, McClain’s lawyer, said in a written statement.
McClain could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but last month told Al.com that he is seeking reinstatement into the NFL after sitting out for three seasons.
He was suspended indefinitely by the league in 2016 for a violation of its substance abuse policy.
McClain’s guilty pleas, filed Tuesday, stemmed from a May 12, 2017, traffic stop for the window-tint violation. He was pulled over at about 1 p.m. on Chestnut Street near the U.S. 31 and Alabama 36 junction, Hartselle police spokesman Lt. Justin Barley said at the time. As the officer approached the vehicle, he smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle and conducted a search, Barley said.
According to the misdemeanor complaint filed against McClain by Hartselle prosecutors in 2017, the search revealed he had a loaded .40-caliber handgun in the glove box of his vehicle, and did not have a pistol permit. He also was charged with having possession of “an amount of marijuana for personal use.”
Carl Francis, director of communications for the NFL Players Association, said he was limited in what he could discuss.
"Unfortunately, the drug program information is confidential. The NFLPA supports Rolando's efforts for reinstatement, but cannot comment on it’s current status," he said.
Calls seeking information on McClain’s reinstatement prospects were not returned Wednesday by the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys or McClain’s agent.
“I’m nowhere near satisfied with how my professional career has gone," McClain told Al.com in July. "That’s for myself. That’s me looking in the mirror and talking to my boys. Nah, that’s not the taste I want to leave in my mouth.”
McClain, who starred in football and basketball at Decatur High, was a No. 8 pick for the Oakland Raiders in 2010. He most recently played for the Dallas Cowboys in 2014-15.
The 2017 window-tint citation was not McClain’s first. He received the same citation in Decatur in January 2013 and presented officers with a doctor’s letter citing his “photosensitivity,” police said at the time.
However, McClain refused to sign the ticket with his name and instead wrote “(expletive) y’all,” police said in 2013. He was subsequently taken to jail on a charge of giving a false name to a police officer, according to a police report. McClain later pleaded guilty to the window-tint violation, but a city judge dismissed the charge of giving a false name to law enforcement as part of a plea deal worked out with the city prosecutor. The window-tint case was closed after the court received payment of $182 in fines.
Misdemeanor disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges against McClain, which stemmed from an April 2013 incident at Pines Park in Decatur, were dismissed in Morgan County Circuit Court in May 2015. In that incident, police were trying to disperse a crowd when, police said, McClain shouted an expletive at police and pulled away from officers trying to arrest him.
McClain was convicted on the charges in city court but appealed the case to Circuit Court.
In November 2011, McClain was accused of assaulting friend Rishard Tapscott and threatening him with a gun. He was found guilty of all charges in Decatur Municipal Court but appealed to Morgan County Circuit Court. A judge dismissed the case in November 2012 after Tapscott decided to drop the charges, according to court records. Tapscott filed a civil lawsuit against McClain over the incident, which he voluntarily dismissed in 2017 after advising the court that he had "resolved his differences" with the defendant.