Bears cut ties with McDonald after latest arrest

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Defensive lineman Ray McDonald’s second chance came to a sudden end with the Chicago Bears Monday after news broke that the troubled defender had been arrested this morning in Santa Clara, California on charges of misdemeanor domestic violence and child endangerment. The Bears released McDonald hours afterwards, ending an embarrassing episode in Bears history that leaves egg on the faces of club chairman George McCaskey and first-year General Manager Ryan Pace.

Pace delivered a brief statement through the Bears public relations department. “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,” General Manager Ryan Pace said. “He was not able to meet the standard and the decision was made to release him.”

The Bears gambled on McDonald this spring, inking him to a controversial one-year “prove it” deal after other NFL teams stayed away after San Francisco cut him last fall following two separate domestic violence accusations. While McCaskey originally turned down Pace’s request to pursue McDonald, he reversed course after meeting with McDonald personally. The Bears now face questions as to whether they performed their due diligence in investigating McDonald’s lengthy legal issues.

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Pace, along with head coach J

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ohn Fox and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who personally lobbied on McDonald’s behalf, may have difficulty in bringing in future players with character concerns. The Bears have been burnt repeatedly in recent years with the likes of Sam Hurd, Cedric Benson, and Tank Johnson, all players who ran afoul with the law and gave the franchise a black eye.

On the field, McDonald’s release means the Bears will have to search for another veteran defender who can fit Fangio’s 3-4 scheme. The roster stands at 89 players as the Bears prepare to move into the organized team activities (OTA’s) phase of the offseason program.

Meanwhile, McDonald’s NFL career is likely over with his only anticipated football activity possibly occurring with the Mean Machine.

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