LM Otero/AP File PhotoThe Chicago Bears agreed to a one-year contract with former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald on Tuesday.

LM Otero/AP File PhotoThe Chicago Bears agreed to a one-year contract with former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald on Tuesday.

Bears agree to 1-year deal with former 49ers DE McDonald

CHICAGO — The Chicago Bears agreed Tuesday to a one-year contract with former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald despite his having some brushes with the law.

Bringing in McDonald, who played under new Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio in San Francisco, could be controversial in Chicago given his legal troubles.

The 49ers cut McDonald in December after a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her following a night of drinking in which she injured her head in a fall by his swimming pool.

“Those things we've looked into,” general manager Ryan Pace said at the NFL meetings in Phoenix. “I can tell you this, we know those are ongoing. But we wouldn't be where we're at right now if we didn't feel comfortable with where that's at. So it's been thorough.”

The Bears also announced Tuesday a one-year deal with defensive end Jarvis Jenkins, who spent the past four seasons with the Washington Redskins.

As for McDonald, the woman who accused him of sexual assault told authorities she has no memory of the encounter at his San Jose house. The Santa Clara County district attorney is considering whether to file criminal charges.

McDonald filed a defamation lawsuit last week, saying security camera footage will show a consensual sexual encounter occurred in his hot tub.

In November, the Santa Clara County district attorney's office announced it had declined to file charges against the defensive lineman in a separate domestic violence investigation.

The acquisition of McDonald is an eye-opening move for Chicago considering Pace has talked about building around high-character players since he was hired in January. He traded outspoken receiver Brandon Marshall to the New York Jets, parting with a player who no longer seemed to fit in the locker room with a new regime taking over.

McDonald's signing raises questions about the value the organization places on character. But Pace insisted it was not a decision made lightly. It got approval from chairman George McCaskey after McDonald paid his way to Chicago and met with him for two hours.

Bears matriarch Virginia McCaskey also approved.

Pace also relied on feedback from Fangio and new defensive backs coach Ed Donatell, who came from the 49ers.

“We looked at it on a case-by-case basis,” Pace said. “It's a one-year, prove-it deal. And everything we do in our business, every decision I make, there's risk involved. I understand that. I think then it's just on me to be thorough through this whole process, and I feel good about where we're at. I think the intimate knowledge that Vic and Ed had helped a lot, helped me feel good about this right now.”

McDonald had 19 1/2 sacks, 29 tackles for losses, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in eight seasons with the 49ers. He made 14 starts last year and was credited with 39 tackles and three sacks.

Jenkins has 76 tackles in his career, including a career-high 29 last year. He sat out the 2011 season because of a knee injury after being drafted in the second round that spring.

Chicago BearsNFLRay McDonaldSan Francisco 49ers

Just Posted

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A Giants fans hangs his head in disbelief after the Dodgers won the NLDS in a controversial finish to a tight Game 5. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Giants dream season ends at the hands of the Dodgers, 2-1

A masterful game comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco came up short

<strong>Workers with Urban Alchemy and the Downtown Streets Team clean at Seventh and Market streets on Oct. 12. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins> </strong>
Why is it so hard to keep San Francisco’s streets clean?

Some blame bureaucracy, others say it’s the residents’ fault

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — seen in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday — touted Congressional Democrats’ infrastructure bill in San Francisco on Thursday. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times)
Pelosi touts infrastructure bill as it nears finish line

Climate change, social safety net among major priorities of Democrats’ 10-year funding measure

Most Read