The Chicago Bears didn’t wait for more details to surface. They released Ray McDonald for yet another domestic abuse arrest, and it pretty much means that his NFL career is over.
The defensive lineman, released by the 49ers last year after two separate accusations of violence against women, was signed by the Bears and reportedly warned by the team’s owner, George McCaskey, that he had to improve his off-field behavior or he won’t last long with the team. The warning was a very clear one, but it turns out McDonald couldn’t stay away from trouble.
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. We have a 96-year tradition of doing things a certain way, of bringing a certain player into our team and those were my concerns going into the conversation with Ray. But I think you look at every situation individually. You try to find out as much information as you can that’s reliable to make the best decision you can about whether to offer a player the privilege of becoming a Chicago Bear.
McDonald was arrested for allegedly assaulting his ex fiancee while she was holding a baby. She was living with the child in an apartment paid for by McDonald. It was she who was involved in the August 2014 incident for which he was arrested but not charges. While the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson stories were circulating, the 49ers were heavily criticized for not releasing him or punishing him.
Later on, a sexual assault allegation came out which resulted in the 49ers releasing him. McDonald contests the allegations are false. That was too much (finally for the 49ers). The Bears didn’t wait for a second incident to happen or for more information to be publicly released. They cut McDonald without him ever playing a game for them, and they’ll probably be the last NFL team associated with him.
The 30-year old defensive lineman has been in the NFL since 2007, playing all eight seasons with the 49ers. He has appeared 115 times for them, becoming a starter in 2011.