U.S. Army Photo by Master Sgt. Michel Sauret on behalf of
Shea McClellin has been at New England for two years and was released a couple days after Saint Patrick’s Day this year. McClellin, 28, signed with New England as an unrestricted free agent from Chicago on March 18, 2016. The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder was a first-round draft pick (19th overall) out of Boise State in the 2012 NFL Draft, but failed to perform at a first-round level.
Various injuries and uncertainty just how to use McClellin contributed to a mixed NFL experience. A first round draft pick for Chicago, can be a tough route with a history of linebackers such as Urlacher, Singletary, Butkus, George, etc. The Bears moved McClellin around, knowing they had a talent, but wondering if they had him in the wrong position. McClellin would play for 3 Defensive Coordinators for the Bears.
McClellin was a great story. A country boy who was raised essentially by his grandparents who had overcome great challenges. An excellent college player from Boise State where he played defensive end.
Injured all of 2017 (he suffered from concussions), he played for 5 seasons (2012-2016) and started in 35 games: 31 for Chicago and 4 for New England. He had 200 tackles. In 2015 he had 81 tackles in 12 games for the Bears. Big salary, great expectations, McClellin was released by Chicago and the media called him a flop, but ,many of us wished him well and wanted him to succeed wherever he went.
In New England, McClellin was another role player in Belichick’s arsenal. In 2016 with New England, McClellin appeared in 14 contests and started in 4. In a game against Miami, with the Dolphins inside the 10-yard line, he recovered a fumble and ran it back 69 yards—a franchise record. In another spectacular play, McClellin leaped over Ravens long snapper Morgan Cox and blocked a Justin Tucker field goal attempt. In Super Bowl LI, the Patriots beat the Falcons in overtime and McClellin started at linebacker.
The Boston Herald reported McClellin was cut due to failed physical designation The Patriots used their first two picks on day three for linebackers: their fifth-round selection was Purdue’s 6-foot-2, 260 pounds, Ja’Whaun Bentley. They selected Arizona State’s 6-foot-2, 244 pounds, Christian Sam with No. 178 in the sixth round.
It’s tough to say whether McClellin will land with another team in the pros or whether he wants to play again based on recent injuries.
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