Bryan Broaddus of DallasCowboys.com initially broke the news that Rolando McClain is at Valley Ranch today as the Cowboys kick off their minicamp.
Been told that Rolando McClain has reported for the mandatory 3 Day Mini Camp which begins today at Valley Ranch.— Bryan Broaddus (@BryanBroaddus) June 14, 2016
McClain's absence from OTAs had been cause for consternation among parts of the Cowboys fan base, and had given rise to sometimes fairly imaginative theories as to why he wasn't participating in OTAs. It didn't matter that Jerry Jones set the record straight last Wednesday on McClain's absence
"It's fair to everybody to understand that Rolando's boys, his family lives in Alabama and he doesn't live with them. His former significant other is where they are. His offseason is spent with those boys and that's an understanding we have when he came through the door," Jones said. "He has to be there to spend time with them, and we expect him to compensate for that."
That statement didn't do much to stop the speculation among parts of the DFW media and Cowboys blogosphere over McClain, who sat out OTAs for the second straight year.
Last year, McClain had surgery on a knee that had been giving him trouble throughout most of the season. Initially, there was hope that a conservative and non-invasive treatment would clear up the knee, but when the issues persisted, McClain decided to have arthroscopic surgery in an effort to be fully ready for the start of the season. After the surgery, McClain chose to rehab at home in Alabama, which caused him to miss last year's OTAs.
While Cowboys fans can now breathe a little easier now, McClain's presence does not automatically mean that he'll participate in minicamp right away, as the Cowboys coaches will probably want to first find out what shape he is in. We'll probably hear more over the course of the day.
The Cowboys (per NFL rules) are allowing the media to attend all three minicamp practices, starting today, so there's bound to be a lot of inane chatter going about Rolando McClain. It'll be interesting to see which sources actually write about what McClain is doing on the field, and which sources repeat the tired old memes about McClain we've heard all offseason.
McClain may be an oddball, and he cost the Cowboys with his suspension last year, but when he is on the field and healthy, there are few like him. That’s what I care about.
In related news, Ronald Leary is also attending mandatory minicamp this week. Leary had been looking for a trade after signing his second-round tender of $2.553 million, but the Cowboys have been reluctant about a trade that doesn't yield significant compensation for the former starter.