The Oakland Raiders' starting middle linebacker for the 2012 season has been sentenced to jail for 180 days. The trial, which started earlier this morning, resulted in Rolando McClain being found guilty of assault, reckless endangerment and the menacing and wrongful discharge of a firearm.
McClain has already stated that he will appeal the case, but the 180 days in jail should not be his biggest concern at this point. While six months in jail is certainly a long time, people almost never serve the entire sentence, especially for a first time offender (I have yet to read that McClain has any other convictions on his record). So while McClain will likely serve a much smaller amount of time in jail, he could still be prevented from playing in the NFL until well into next season.
At this point, the Raiders should be more concerned with the punishment doled out by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell rather than the punishment dished out in the courts. Regardless of when McClain gets out of jail, there is still a very high probability that he will not be able to return to the football field immediately after. As we saw with Michael Vick, after he came out of jail, he still had the NFL to answer to, in the form of a suspension.
Based on the way that Goodell has handled situations like this before, I would venture to guess that McClain is looking at a suspension for at least four games, and for as many as eight games. This could wind up having a very negative impact on the Raiders as their only two other middle linebackers are perennially injured Travis Goethal and seventh round pick Nate Stupar.