Shortly before free agency opens on March 13 , Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome should send linebacker Ray Lewis on another recruiting trip and tell him to welcome back running backLe'Ron McClain.
McClain and the Ravens are a marriage waiting to happen again.
The Ravens need a backup to starting halfback Ray Rice, and McClain is about to become an unrestricted free agent after spending a season with the Kansas City Chiefs. All we need now is a pastor, a contract and couple of witnesses to make it official.
The Ravens have the opening because former backup running back Ricky Williams announced his retirement even though, according to a team source, the possibility remains he might return.
But if that doesn't happen in reasonable time — like by March 13 — the Ravens and McClain's agent should start trading cell phone messages.
Newsome's motto in free agency always has been "right player, right price." With McClain, the Ravens can get a two-for-one deal. They sign McClain as the backup to Rice, but they also have him as an insurance policy if starting fullback Vonta Leach gets injured.
Sounds like an easy game plan, right?
Of course, we don't know McClain's salary demands, but you can bet they won't be too high. McClain left Baltimore because he wanted far more carries than the 28 for 85 yards he had in 2010 with the Ravens.
He thought he could become the featured runner in an offense, but it didn't happen in Kansas City, where he had only 15 carries for 51 yards last season, mostly playing fullback.
I assume his eyes have been opened and his ego humbled.
Yet, I don't fault him for leaving. McClain is a fierce competitor, and he got a taste of at least sharing the lead role with Rice in 2008 when he started 16 games and had 232 carries for 902 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Running backs and receivers are all the same. They all think they are great. They all want the ball. McClain was no different, but now he has probably figured out that he is either a role-playing halfback or a starting fullback.
In Baltimore, he could almost do both.
Around town, there is already talk about the Ravens signing New York Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who has a history with Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron when they were together in San Diego.
Tomlinson is too much like Rice. The previous set up of last season was better: the Ravens had Rice for early in the game and a downhill, change-of-pace closer like Williams for the fourth quarter.
McClain can play that role, which he did part time in 2008. He could certainly bolster the Ravens' short-yardage running offense which struggled late in the season. Imagine the 260-pound McClain running behind the 260-pound Leach on third and 1 .
Or better yet, imagine Rice in a full house backfield running behind Leach and McClain as lead blockers. McClain gives the Ravens a lot of options because he also has good, soft hands as a receiver out of the backfield.
It's a win-win situation for both the player and the team. McClain still lives in Baltimore, where he does a lot of offseason charity work. He knows the offense, is familiar with Cameron and gets along well with Rice. You put him together with the other two members of the starting backfield, and Rice has two, big, ornery Southern dudes as body guards.
That's major league protection.
McClain never fit in with Kansas City. The Chiefs talked about being smash mouth, but that was just lip service. McClain knows the situation in Baltimore. This is a tough town with a team that has a tough personality.
When McClain used to come out of the tunnel at away games with the Ravens, he'd run to the opposite end of the stadium and flap those wings, taunting opposing fans and letting them know the Ravens had arrived.
There were times when he went a little overboard, like the spitting incident with Miami linebacker Channing Crowder in 2010, but he worked as hard as Rice during the offseason in his last two years here, and he always had swagger.
He intimidated people.
He was — and still deserves to be — a Raven.