After the Bear Report's Aaron Leming reported that the Chicago Bears were close to signing Ray McDonald earlier this morning, we now have confirmation from ESPN that's it's happening.
Yes, Bears are signing former 49ers DT Ray McDonald. Play for new Bears DC Vic Fangio before being cut in December— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) March 24, 2015
Ray McDonald, the latest Chicago Bears defensive lineman, has played his entire 8 year NFL career in San Francisco, starting 68 of the 115 games he's appeared in. He's totaled 201 tackles, 19.5 sacks, 10 passes defended, 4 forced fumbles and an interception while mostly playing defensive end in San Francisco's 3-4 defense.
McDonald (6'3, 290) played for new Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio from 2011-2014, and Fangio would move him inside on occasion. The 30 year old McDonald gives the Bears another experienced 3-4 defensive lineman, but he's not without baggage.
In August of 2014, McDonald was arrested on domestic violence charges, after an alleged altercation during a party at his house. But on November 10th, the Santa Clara District Attorney's office announced that no charges will be filed against McDonald.
"Conflicting versions of the event, a lack of verifiable eyewitnesses and a significant lack of cooperation from Jane Doe; we cannot prove a crime occurred," said Lindsay Walsh, Santa Clara Deputy District Attorney in charge of the case. "In this particular case, there were particular pieces of information missing."
McDonald was also accused of rape in December of 2014, which led to the 49ers releasing him. No charges have been filed so far, and McDonald is suing his accuser for making a false claim and jeopardizing his football career.
McDonald's lawyer told the San Jose Mercury News that video from McDonald's home-surveillance system show the woman having "clearly consensual" sex with McDonald, and that the rape allegation was false. Yet the allegation led the 49ers to release McDonald, and no other team has shown interest in signing him. McDonald and his lawyer released a statement saying they hope the lawsuit can vindicate him and get his NFL career back on track.
"In the eyes of the NFL teams, the unresolved threat of charges being filed against him, even though factually unfounded, continues to present a roadblock to this remarkable athlete being able to move forward in his career," according to the statement. "This lawsuit is intended to vindicate him . . . and return his good name. . . . False accusations such as this not only harm the person who was subjected to the accusation, but they also harm women generally, causing unwarranted suspicion in cases where an individual is rightfully accused of a sexual crime."
What are your thoughts on McDonald's signing?
EDIT: The Bears have officially announced his signing to a 1 year contract pending a physical.