The Chicago Bears have signed Ray McDonald, former 49ers defensive tackle, to a one-year deal for an undisclosed amount. The signing reunites McDonald with Vic Fangio, his former defensive coordinator in San Francisco and the current DC in Chicago.

The McDonald signing comes with controversy, as he was cut for being investigated for sexual assault. And this was after McDonald’s arrest for domestic battery in August 2014; the 49ers took heat for allowing Ray to play despite that ongoing investigation.

The domestic battery charges were eventually dropped due to conflicting stories, meanwhile the sexual assault investigation is ongoing but no charges against McDonald has been filed. However, the NFL starter has taken action and is suing the accuser for defamation.

Bears GM Ryan Pace felt comfortable about the signing after consulting with Fangio, defensive backs coach Ed Donatell — also a former 49er coach — and even chairman George McCaskey.


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“Some of the obvious things right off the bat is that we have coaches who have been with Ray for four years in Vic and Ed,” Pace told The Chicago Tribune. “So I think that really helped us through this process. We’ve talked about it for a long time now. So this was a thorough and well-discussed decision.”

As for the looming charges, the Bears organization felt comfortable enough to sign Ray to a one-year contract because of their investigation. “[The charges] we’ve looked into,” Pace continued. “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.”

Despite his off-the-field problems, McDonald really came into his own in San Francisco. After four years in the league, he became a starter in 2011. And over the 59 starts, he had 14.5 sacks and 153 total tackles.

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