7:18pm: 49ers GM Trent Baalke issued a statement regarding Brooks (via Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports on Twitter):
“The organization is aware that a misdemeanor charge has been filed against Ahmad Brooks stemming from a December 2014 matter. We take any charge against a member of this organization seriously and are in communication with the NFL. Ahmad is returning home to California and will not participate in Saturday’s game.”
6:55pm: A district attorney has charged 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks with sexual battery, according to court reporter Tracey Kaplan (on Twitter). Meanwhile, a grand jury has indicted Ray McDonald on rape. McDonald was indicted on one count of rape of an intoxicated person, Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee tweets.
Brooks was accused of assault and battery, false imprisonment and infliction of emotional distress by the same alleged victim in the McDonald case. The accusation against Brooks came about following a defamation lawsuit McDonald filed against his accuser in March. At the time, McDonald was a free agent and claimed the woman defamed him and interfered with his livelihood as he struggled to find his next team. In a cross complaint filed in May, she alleges that Brooks “groped her person in a sexual manner” when she was passed out from hitting her head.
Last season, Brooks came to camp out of shape and during the season he was benched twice for off-the-field actions. This year, there was some talk that his legal situation coupled with the presence of young linebackers could put him on the roster bubble. Now that charges have been filed, Brooks’ stay with San Francisco could be coming to an end.
McDonald signed a one-year contract with the Bears earlier this offseason, with team ownership expressing confidence in the defensive lineman’s character after some initial apprehension. The NFL cleared McDonald of any violation of the league’s personal conduct policy relating to an August, but had yet to make a decision on a December sexual assault accusation. When the 30-year-old was arrested yet again in May, the Bears acted swiftly and released him. Not long after that, McDonald was arrested again for violating a restraining order.
Chicago’s agreement with McDonald was a modest $1.05MM deal that didn’t include any guaranteed money, so they were able to drop him without financial penalty. 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. As of today, McDonald’s football future is very much in doubt.