The Chicago Bears have decided to sever ties with Ray McDonald following his arrest in Santa Clara, Calif. for domestic abuse and child endangerment. The team announced the release of the veteran defensive lineman Monday afternoon.
According to Santa Clara police, McDonald "physically assaulted the victim while she was holding a baby." McDonald then left the scene and was found at a property owned by former San Francisco 49ers teammate Justin Smith.
"We believe in second chances," Bears general manager Ryan Pace said via the team's Twitter account, "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."
The Bears' decision to sign McDonald was met with criticism earlier this offseason. At the time, team chairman George McCaskey told reporters that, while he originally refused to approve the move, he gradually changed his mind after speaking with McDonald. However, McCaskey noted that the defensive tackle had to remain on his best behavior in order to hold onto his job. The latest arrest proved to be the tipping point. McDonald now also faces the prospect of a suspension from the league office.
McDonald had previously been arrested on suspicion of domestic violence in 2014 and was released by the San Francisco 49ers soon after. He was also arrested for driving while intoxicated in 2010. His one-year contract with the Bears was worth $1.05 million in non-guaranteed base salary and bonuses.