Sean Pendergast

Fantasy Crime League Update: Ray McDonald's Chicago Bear Career Ends With Domestic Assault Arrest

It's been awhile since we've had an update to my NFL offseason Fantasy Crime League standings, which for society is probably a great thing. However, it's a terrible thing for someone like me tasked with generating content.

Hell, the FCL had become such an afterthought for me the past couple of months that somehow I totally missed the crime spree of Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Rodney Austin back in April that included three felonies (assault on a female, assault on a child under 12, interference with emergency communications) and one misdemeanor (larceny). That bad day for Austin vaulted the Colts to the head of the class with 12 points, a six-point boat race right now over perennial FCL power Baltimore and Green Bay.

So kudos, Rodney Austin, carrying the squad (but please stop assaulting women and kids, if you could…thanks)!

Now comes Ray McDonald, the former San Francisco 49er and current (for at least a few hours after his latest crime) Chicago Bears defensive end who was arrested last season for a domestic violence incident involving his then-pregnant then-fiancée in late August. Unlike a handful of other teams dealing with similar issues of violence cases being played out in court (Panthers with Greg Hardy, Vikings with Adrian Peterson), the Niners allowed McDonald to continue playing until releasing him in December for what the team called "a pattern of poor decisions."

On Monday, McDonald was arrested once again for an incident involving his former fiancée after police say he "physically assaulted the victim while she was holding a baby." Police were called to an apartment in Santa Clara, California, at 3:48 a.m. Monday, but discovered McDonald had left. He was later found at a home in San Jose.

The San Jose address at which McDonald was arrested is a house that belongs to ex-49ers teammate Justin Smith, according to property records. Smith has not been implicated in the incident in any way.

The Bears signed McDonald to a one-year, $1.05 million deal in late March after a lengthy vetting process that included conversations with McDonald's defensive coordinator in San Francisco (Vic Fangio) and McDonald's parents. At the time of the signing, team chairman George McCaskey said this:
"We have a 96-year tradition of doing things a certain way, of bringing a certain type of player into our team," McCaskey said at the time. "And those were my concerns going into the conversation with Ray. But I think you look at every situation individually. You try to find out as much information as you can that's reliable to make the best decision you can about whether to offer a player the privilege of becoming a Chicago Bear.

"I was impressed with how sincere he was and how motivated he is. He understands, I think, that he could have well been facing the end of his football career. And he loves football, and he wants that career to continue. So I was impressed with his motivation."
On Monday afternoon, the Bears were far less impressed, and by late in the day, this came down….

"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," Bears General Manager Ryan Pace said in a statement released Monday afternoon. "He was not able to meet the standard and the decision was made to release him."

Good luck finding work, Ray.


* 2/3/15: Colts LB D'Qwell Jackson is arrested for assault.
* 2/5/15: Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw is charged with marijuana possession.
* 4/17/15: Lions OL Rodney Austin is arrested for assault on a female, assault on a child under 12, interference with emergency communications, and misdemeanor larceny (assuming three felonies and one misdemeanor here)

* 3/1/15: Ravens DB Victor Hampton is arrested for DWI.
* 3/18/15: Ravens RB Bernard Pierce is arrested for DUI.

* 2/3/15: Packers DT Letroy Guion is arrested for felony possession of marijuana and felony possession of a firearm.

CHICAGO BEARS .. 3 points
* 5/25/15: Bears DL Ray McDonald reportedly is arrested on charges of domestic violence.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ers .. 3 points
* 3/5/15: 49ers FB Bruce Miller is arrested for spousal battery.

DALLAS COWBOYS ... 1 point
* 2/3/15: Cowboys RB Joseph Randle is cited for marijuana (unclear if it's a misdemeanor or just a citation, so FCL scoring is pending)

* 3/29/15: Saints CB Brian Dixon is arrested for resisting arrest without violence.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at
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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast