Chicago Bears Sign Controversial Defensive End Ray McDonald.
After several off the field transgressions involving alleged sexual assault, alleged domestic violence, and driving under the influence (DUI), Ray McDonald, the San Francisco 49er's former sack specialist, has found a new team.
The Chicago Bears have reportedly inked the dynamic defensive end to a one-year "prove yourself" deal. In the wake of the infamous Ray Rice elevator video that sparked national anti-domestic violence outrage last year, McDonald's signing has expectedly stirred up skepticism in the windy city.
Released by the 49er's in December for "a pattern of poor decision-making," the free agent defensive end had multiple, highly publicized run-ins with the law. In June 2010, McDonald was pulled over and arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, after he was clocked exceeding 90 miles an hour.
Although he pled not guilty, McDonald was sentenced to complete a first-offender program. However, in early 2012, he was arrested for failure to provide proof that he in fact completed the mandatory program.
Two years later, in May 2014, San Jose police were called to McDonald’s home to respond to an alleged incident of a woman grabbing a man's gun. Police did not identify either person by name, but multiple reports indicated the subjects were McDonald and his fiancée.
Just a few months later, in August 2014, Son Jose police were once again summonsed to McDonald's home. While celebrating his 30th birthday, McDonald allegedly physically assaulted his fiancée.
Responding officers reported “visible injuries” to the alleged victim and the football star was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence. Ultimately, due to a lack of evidence, no charges were subsequently filed following the incident.
Finally, the straw that seemingly broke the camel's back for the 49er's organization, occurred in December 2014 when their troublesome defensive end once again found himself under investigation by San Jose police.
This time McDonald was accused of sexual assault. A search warrant was served at his residence the day police got a call from a local hospital to report the possible attack. However, once again, he alluded criminal charges.
While McDonald might have avoided criminal indictment for a second time during his tenure in San Francisco, the 49er's ultimately decided to terminate his contract.
After meeting in person with both new Bears GM Ryan Pace and team Chairman George McCasky, McDonald apparently assured the club that he was indeed worth the short-term risk. In desperate need of a top-notch pass rusher in the Bears revamped 3-4 defense, Pace and McCasky, determined McDonald's on the field attributes out-weigh his highly scrutinized off the field indiscretions.
Reuniting with his former 49er's defensive coordinator Vic Fangio in Chicago, McDonald has received a new lease on his football life. Whether he's actually earned his proverbial second chance at resuming his NFL career remains a topic of heated national debate.
With the recent Dallas Cowboys signing of another lightening rod for the domestic abuse debate, Greg Hardy, one of the NFL's 32 teams would have almost certainly taken a flyer on McDonald. The Bears organization and its ravenous fan base must decide if "the juice is worth the squeeze."