Former 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald has been charged with felony false imprisonment stemming from a May 25th domestic violence incident, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. McDonald has also been charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, child endangerment, and violating a court order mandating that he stay away from the victim (Twitter links). If convicted, McDonald could face up to three years in prison.
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.
“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.
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.