On Monday, the Chicago Bears released defensive end Ray McDonald, 30, after his arrest on charges of misdemeanor domestic violence and child endangerment in Santa Clara, California.
The release came only 62 days after the Bears signed the former San Francisco 49er to a one-year, $1.5 million contract with no money guaranteed.
The Bears had taken a chance on McDonald despite the fact that he was arrested last Aug. 31 on suspicion of felony domestic violence without being charged and accused last December of sexual assault in another case where he was not charged. The December case prompted McDonald to sue his accuser for defamation. She responded with a civil suit. The 49ers released McDonald that month, with general manager Trent Baalke saying that a “pattern of poor behavior” triggered the release.
Police claimed that Monday’s arrest came after they discovered “he physically assaulted the victim while she was holding a baby.” The woman was apparently his former fiancée, who lives in an apartment he rents for her in Santa Clara.
By the time police arrived at McDonald’s home, he had already left. They subsequently found him at the home of former 49ers teammate Justin Smith, and arrested him there. According to NBC Bay Area, McDonald rents an apartment in Santa Clara for his former fiancée and their baby. Defilippis confirmed that the accuser in this case is McDonald’s former fiancée, who also was the alleged victim in an incident in August. She was also his alleged target last August.
After posting bail Monday, McDonald was released from jail.
Bears general manager Ryan Pace stated, “We believe in second chances, but when we signed Ray we were very clear what our expectations were if he was to remain a Bear. He was not able to meet the standard and the decision was made to release him.”
Bears Chairman George McCaskey did not want to sign the defensive end but after he met with McDonald and spoke to his parents, he allowed Pace to sign him. McCaskey said after the signing, “I told him that my assessment was ‘bad decision-making,’ allowing himself to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or not withdrawing from a situation at the appropriate time. And I told him, if he’s to remain a Bear, that needs to improve. And he pledged to me that it would.”
Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who joined the Bears this year after his stint as the 49ers’ defensive coordinator, where he worked with McDonald, vouched for McDonald in late April, saying, “The headlines, I think, looked worse than what actually happened, but they happened. He made a mistake putting himself in those positions for that to happen. But ultimately he was not charged with anything, so we felt good about it here.”
Pace added that he was not concerned about the signing because the deal was “a one-year, ‘prove-it deal’ … So we protected ourselves.”