DE RAY MCDON­ALD

Chicago Sun-Times - - BEARS BEAT -

The deal: One year, $1.05 mil­lion to­tal, zero guar­an­teed.

What hap­pened: A con­tro­ver­sial sign­ing from the get-go, McDon­ald never played for the Bears. His off-the-field trou­bles quickly re-emerged when he was ar­rested in May 2015 on charges of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and child en­dan­ger­ment stem­ming from an in­ci­dent with his for­mer fi­ancée in Santa Clara, Cal­i­for­nia. The Bears promptly re­leased him.

What it means for ’16: The Bears’ char­ac­ter ex­am­i­na­tions have to be more thor­ough and in­volve much more than a coach’s rec­om­men­da­tion. It will be in­ter­est­ing to see what type of char­ac­ter risks the Bears take this year be­cause the em­bar­rass­ment of sign­ing McDon­ald was felt at the high­est lev­els. Af­ter McDon­ald was re­leased, chair­man Ge­orge McCaskey said his big­gest take­away was to trust his ini­tial im­pres­sions more. He orig­i­nally ve­toed McDon­ald’s sign­ing. The freeagent class this year in­cludes guard Richie Incog­nito, who went to the Pro Bowl af­ter a strong sea­son with the Bills. The Bears need of­fen­sive-line help, but Incog­nito was the main cul­prit in the Dol­phins’ bul­ly­ing scan­dal in

2013.

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