“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,” GM Ryan Pace said, according to the Bears (on Twitter).
On Monday, McDonald was arrested on charges of domestic violence and child endangerment. This is the third time in about a year that McDonald has found himself in legal trouble. McDonald was arrested and accused of domestic violence last August, and faced a sexual assault allegation in December, resulting in his release from the 49ers.
McDonald inked a one-year deal with the Bears earlier this offseason despite his checkered past. Chicago brass went to bat for McDonald against public criticism and concerns, but that vote of confidence has apparently backfired. While the Bears aren’t in the office for Memorial Day, they clearly didn’t want to let this situation fester any longer than they had to. The defensive end’s season was already in a bit of jeopardy since the league had yet to make a decision on his December incident. Given the latest events, the 30-year-old might not see the gridiron at all in 2015.
According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), McDonald was the league’s 12th-best 3-4 defensive end in 2014, grading well both against the run and as a pass rusher. Over the last four regular seasons as the 49ers’ starting left defensive end, McDonald racked up 14.5 sacks, 153 tackles, five forced fumbles, and a safety.
Chicago’s agreement with McDonald was a one-year, $1.05MM deal without guaranteed money, so the Bears won’t have to carry on dead money on their cap due to today’s move.