Skip to main content

Bears release DE Ray McDonald following domestic violence arrest

The Chicago Bears have released defensive end Ray McDonald following a domestic violence arrest.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

The Chicago Bears have released defensive end Ray McDonald, the team announced on Monday. McDonald was arrested Monday in San Jose, Calif., on domestic violence and child endangerment charges.

release from the Santa Clara police department says McDonald is accused of physically assaulting the victim while she was holding a baby.

"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," Chicago general manager Ryan Pace said ina statement. "He was not able to meet the standard and the decision was made to release him."

Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long sent the following tweet shortly after the news was announced:

The Bears signed McDonald to a one-year contract in March. The 30-year-old was released by the San Francisco 49ers in December due to what the team called a "pattern" of behavior by the player. 

Last November, McDonald was cleared after an investigation into an alleged domestic violence incident at his home. He was arrested on Aug. 31 on suspicion of felony domestic violence, and after the investigation, the district attorney said it did not find sufficient evidence to press charges and characterized it as a "physical struggle between two parties, each party blaming the other."

In December, the San Jose Police Department said McDonald was being investigated for a possible sexual assault. No charges were brought against McDonald in that case, and he is reportedly suing the woman who accused him.

Team owner George McCaskey explained the decision to sign McDonald in March. He met with McDonald before giving general manager Ryan Pace permission to sign him. From the Chicago Tribune's transcript of McCaskey's comments:

"[McDonald] asked if I’d be willing to meet with him and I said yes," McCaskey said. "So the fact that he proposed that idea, I gave him a lot of credit for. And he was very candid, very forthright. It was a difficult conversation. It was long. It took a lot out of me. And I think it took a lot out of him. And after that conversation, I told Ryan that he had our permission [to sign him]."

McDonald has made 68 career starts and has recorded 210 tackles, 19.5 sacks and three fumble recoveries. 

Molly Geary and Scooby Axson