clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Jeremiah Ratliff made death threats, told Bears staff 'I am the devil' during incident at team headquarters

New, comments

Ratliff went on a violent tirade that resulted in his release from the Bears.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The reportedly "heated exchange" between Jeremiah Ratliff and Chicago Bears that led to the defensive tackle's release went far beyond football talk, according to a police report obtained by the Chicago Tribune.

Ratliff, 34, said that "he felt like killing everybody in the building," according to Lake Forest police and was later released by the team. When he returned to gather his belongings, Ratliff also said "I am the devil" and told Bears staff members that he wished their children would die. Ratliff was escorted from the premises by police without further incident, although he did return again to retrieve his cell phone.

A GPS ping of Ratliff's phone later showed that he was in Texas, so the Bears called the Dallas Cowboys to warn them about the potential presence of the team's former player as a security precaution, although Ratliff never showed up at the Cowboys facility.

The four-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman was in his third season with the Bears and made two starts in 2015 before his release. In the week since his release, Ratliff hasn't been picked up by another team.

In the announcement of the release, the Bears also announced the signing of former Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Ziggy Hood, but left out details of the incident that led to Ratliff's release:

"We felt moving forward without Jeremiah [Ratliff] was in the best interest of our team," Bears general manager Ryan Pace said in a statement. "We appreciate his contributions and wish him well. We are also excited to be able to add Ziggy Hood to our roster."

Ratliff was originally a seventh-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in the 2005 NFL Draft and played eight seasons for the team before joining the Bears in 2013. The nose tackle made four consecutive Pro Bowls while with the Cowboys and earned First-Team All-Pro honors in 2009.