The Chicago Bears released defensive lineman Ray McDonald after he was arrested on misdemeanor domestic violence and child endangerment charges on May 25.
The Chicago Bears have released Ray McDonald.
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The Bears issued a press release on their official website on May 25:
"The Chicago Bears released DL Ray McDonald Monday.
"'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,' General Manager Ryan Pace said. 'He was not able to meet the standard and the decision was made to release him.'"
According to The Chicago Tribune's Rich Campbell, authorities in Santa Clara, Calif. arrested McDonald for misdemeanor domestic violence and child endangerment on Monday. It's McDonald's second domestic violence arrest in the last nine months.
The Chicago Bears released DL Ray McDonald today.— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 25, 2015
His Aug. 31 arrest stemmed from a suspicion of felony domestic violence. He was not charged, per The Chicago Tribune.
Police arrived at McDonald's California residence at 3:48 a.m. PDT after they learned "he physically assaulted the victim while she was holding a baby." McDonald allegely fled the scene when authorities arrived, per Campbell.
They eventually tracked McDonald down at a San Jose, Calif. residence which belongs to his former San Francisco 49ers teammate, Justin Smith, at 7 a.m. PDT, per The Chicago Sun-Times' Patrick Finley.
McDonald was also accused of sexual assault on Dec. 16 but was not charged. The 49ers immediately released him after the incident. The NFL is still investigating the incident, per Finley.
49ers general manager Trent Baalke said "a pattern of poor decision making" prompted him to let McDonald go, per The Chicago Tribune.
The Bears were not hit hard financially by McDonald's release as his $870,000 base salary was not guaranteed. In addition, The Chicago Sun-Times report also adds "he was to be owed $50,000 for any game he's on the 53-man roster, $6,250 for every game he's active, and a $30,000 workout bonus."
McDonald claimed his innocence on both the Aug. 31 domestic violence arrest and the Dec. 16 sexual assault issues last month. The NFL told The Chicago Sun-Times the former case did not violate its personal conduct policy.
"I don't think it's right," he told Finley. "I don't think it's fair. You can look on TV and see all this negative stuff being said about somebody. People can put out stuff there that's not very credible, and it can assassinate someone's character by doing that."
Bears chairman George McCaskey initially vetoed McDonald's signing, but eventually met with him in March. He even talked to McDonald's parents on the telephone, per Campbell. He then agreed to sign McDonald.
"I was impressed with how sincere he was and how motivated he is," McCaskey told The Chicago Sun-Times last March. "He understands, I think, that he could have well been facing the end of his football career."
At the time, new Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who was with McDonald for four seasons in San Francisco, vouched for his character, per Finley:
"At that point where it was said we weren't going to pursue it, at that point I called two other teams in the league to recommend that they sign Ray. And I called Ray's agent to tell him, 'Hey, if you need any character reference, anybody wants to talk to me about Ray, that they might be interested in signing him, have them feel free to call me.
"I think that tells you what I feel about him."
McDonald, a third-round draft choice by the 49ers in 2007, has amassed 210 tackles, 19.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one interception, per ESPN stats.
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