NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on the network’s GameDay Morning program that, if 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald has not been truthful with the team in describing his version of the events that led to his arrest for suspicion of felony domestic abuse, the team will cut him (Twitter link). Rapoport indicates that the 49ers are not “hiding behind due process” and believe what McDonald has told them to this point.
That is one of the reasons that McDonald was not deactivated in advance of San Francisco’s contest against the Bears this evening. The Panthers deactivated defensive lineman Greg Hardy prior to their game against the Lions this afternoon, and California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom recently called for the 49ers to do the same with McDonald.
However, not only do the 49ers claim to believe McDonald’s side of the story, there is another significant issue that differentiates McDonald and Hardy, as Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee observes: Hardy’s case is much farther along than McDonald’s.
In July, Hardy was found guilty of assaulting and threatening his ex-girlfriend, Nicole Holder. McDonald, meanwhile, has not yet been charged. He was scheduled to make an initial appearance in court on Monday, but that hearing was postponed for two weeks as investigators continue to gather information. Ultimately, the assistant district attorney in charge of domestic abuse will review that information and determine whether charges should be filed.
If it turns out that the evidence in his case stands in contrast to what McDonald has told his team, then the next several games might be his last in a 49ers uniform.