49ers cut Ray McDonald amid rape investigation

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The San Francisco 49ers have released defensive lineman Ray McDonald, hours after news broke that police searched his home in connection with an investigation into a sexual assault.

General Manager Trent Baalke said the 49ers made the decision to terminate McDonald’s contract because of a pattern of behavior that the team finds unacceptable.

That represents a sharp contrast from the 49ers’ approach to McDonald early this season. When McDonald was arrested and investigated in a domestic violence case, the 49ers steadfastly stood by him, even as they faced harsh criticism from those who said he had no business on the field at a time when Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson were all banished from the league. In that case, authorities ultimately decided not to charge McDonald.

There’s no word yet on whether McDonald will be charged in the new sexual assault case, but it’s clear that the 49ers have decided that McDonald is someone they no longer want representing their franchise.

162 responses to “49ers cut Ray McDonald amid rape investigation

  1. Ok, i know you guys are out of the playoffs, so you probably won’t post anymore, but any Niner fans that said we were all silly for “Falsely accusing” mcdonald of being a horrible human, come in here, the crow is ready to eat.

  2. GOOD

    He put the team in a bad position twice in less than a year

    Even if he is innocent the PR hit would be too big to keep his dumb face around

    And he played some of his best ball this year, too

    Iron Sharpens Iron

  3. What is pathetic is they couldn’t learn from the Ravens mistake. Should have cut him with immediate effect in September.

  4. Too little, too late, I’m afraid. I guess they decided two cover-ups was just a little too risky. The NFL should have a “Mean Machine” team for all these guys to play on when they get cut.

  5. @andreboy1, do you realize the implications of “Even if he is innocent the PR hit would be too big to keep his dumb face around?”

    Skilled players will become targets, possibly by lunatic fans of rivals, rival players and even the teams themselves.

  6. Beastmode5150 just go away please! We get it. The Seahawks are the best team that existed…ever…and they will win every super bowl til the world ends. Maybe even two or three super bowls a year because theyre THAT good. Happy!? Now go away.

  7. That’s the problem with having too many incidents of being investigated. Eventually, people stop believing you when you claim innocence. Even if you haven’t once been offically charged with anything.

    Old McDonald apparently passed that point. I think it was well played by the 9ers organization. First time, we stand by you. After that… see ya.

  8. “Too little, too late, I’m afraid. I guess they decided two cover-ups was just a little too risky. The NFL should have a “Mean Machine” team for all these guys to play on when they get cut.”

    Coached by Tom Cable

  9. “In other words…..

    “We’re eliminated from the playoffs, we will cut him now””

    This is exactly what happened!

  10. number1hawkfan says:Dec 17, 2014 3:40 PM

    The San Quentin 49ers are above reproach. And Nobody has it better. Don’t you guys listen to ctiggs?

    You should listen to me.

  11. New England has a replacement for Dominique Easley now.

    Then again, there’s always A place for every former 49er to go to: Seattle.

  12. Lol…. Beast mode. Pete will pick him up in the off season and you’ll slobber all over him.

    In our society we give people the benefit of the doubt, but this guy blew it.

    Be careful to jump on a team for one players action. Karma strikes back with vengeance.

  13. Anyone else find the timing of this a little suspicious? Stand by him all year and then the week after they get eliminated from the playoffs he’s being investigated for another charge?

  14. What about due process????

    Also, since they were eliminated from the playoffs two days ago, they didn’t have to look the other way anymore.

    Classy organization, right?

  15. Gary S. Hart says:
    Dec 17, 2014 3:43 PM

    Skilled players will become targets, possibly by lunatic fans of rivals, rival players and even the teams themselves.
    ****************
    Definitely a possibility, but how about hanging out with the right crowd and avoiding the possibility?

    If you have a valid alibi you won’t have to worry about any “suspicions”.

  16. Only thing I’m looking forward to on Saturday for my first game at this overpriced monument to arrogance and elitism is booing this team every chance I get.

    This organization drank too much of their own Kool-Aid and have alienated the average fan. Nobody asked for fancy restaurants and concessions – it’s a $%^& football stadium to watch football games.

  17. isaidjoemontegna says:
    Dec 17, 2014 3:45 PM
    Beastmode5150 just go away please! We get it. The Seahawks are the best team that existed…ever…and they will win every super bowl til the world ends. Maybe even two or three super bowls a year because theyre THAT good. Happy!? Now go away.
    ——————
    Huh? When have i ever said that? I think the Seahawks are middle of the pack probably in “Best teams that existed” Maybe you should leave?

  18. Boy, do the 49ers and the San Jose PD have mud on their face for this one. This man has proven to be a piece of garbage. Karma always wins.

  19. Do you clowns research at all before you throw inflammatory comments around?
    ___________________________________

    Oh please. Go cry a river. You’re going to get that on this forum. It’s true that they did this only because their season is over…..

  20. Wait now…all the 49er trolls say he’s innocent and due process and above reproach…why would the team let him go? Are they setting him free to scout out the next team for Harbaugh or something?

  21. So…..when the Niners THOUGHT they had a chance to win the division/conference/SuperBowl (hilarious by the way), they stood by the wife beater and let
    Him play because it
    Made their team better. Now that they are eliminated from the playoffs, they toss him aside when the next allegation surfaces?

    Balke calls it a “pattern of unacceptable behavior” yet he claims that the team believed McDonald was innocent the first charges….do you see the contradiction? The Niners were willing to play him, of ot gave them a Better chance to win, regardless
    Of what kin of person he is. Wins are more
    Important that morals. Surprised they haven’t picked up
    Rice yet.

    Even worse, now that they don’t need him, they throw him
    Under the bus. Not only are they spineless in keeping him around despite him being an abuser of women, they now how they dont even have loyalty to him. After
    Defending him (knowing he did it and not caring) the first time, they now act like they new he did it all
    Along and he is displaying a “pattern”

    What a disgusting organization. Glad
    I am not a fan, I would be ashamed.

  22. That was too quick. He hasn’t yet been charged and the woman said she was “possibly sexual assaulted”. Yes, it looks bad because of the previous allegation but this could easily be a money grab. Not to confuse the team with the “league” but this seems like exactly the kind of thing the exempt list is now supposed to be used for. Granted, the team can cut him whenever if they don’t want to deal with his distractions any longer but they cited his behavior that has yet to be investigated without a single fact. Personally, I think he is a shady character but this allegation could be baseless. It is too soon to know.

    This is why blanket disciplinary policies do not work well.

  23. Well, if there was any chance he was targeted by a gold digger looking for an NFL paycheck, she’s out of luck now.

  24. Nothing wrong with them supporting him the first time, and they were right he wasn’t charged..now with this they exactly did the right thing. One time you get the benefit..2nd, nope

  25. I don’t have a problem with this. Leave it up to the individual team to decide regarding off the field issues, not the NFL to decide. If another team wants to sign Ray McDonald, good for them. They should be allowed to. Not this commish exempt, indefinite suspension, overreactions Roger has to make it look like the NFL cares. If Goodell did that, he wouldn’t have such a bad rap. The NFL should only care about on the field integrity.

  26. It’s a little more complex than you guys are making it out to be. They did this because A) He’s a jerk, B) The season is over, C) He’s Harbaugh’s guy and D) it saves $3.65 million under the cap next year and the 49ers are $8-$10 million over it.

    I actually think D is the biggest reason for it but if this isn’t proof Harbaugh’s gone I don’t know what is.

  27. str53ngth – nice try knucklehead – he wasn’t charged His fiancée didn’t cooperate with the investigation and McDonald wasn’t charged because of “insufficient evidence. Posted by Eric Branch – His fiancée didn’t cooperate with the investigation and McDonald wasn’t charged because of “insufficient evidence.” so because they didn’t have enough to go forward or In other words the fiance realized her diamond ring and plush lifestyle will fade if he’s kicked out of the league, so she pulled back. Now rape? – you guys backed the wrong person and were all full of yourselves. Asking for apologies and saying we were justa bunch of haters. Damm right – I hate any athlete who feels it is ok to use size and strength to hurt or force any person.

  28. This is a young, wealthy pro football player. How many women could he be with consensually ? He could go into any bar in San Fran and have women tripping over themselves.

  29. It’s easy to make these “character decisions” after you’re eliminated from the playoffs.

  30. figure out a way to stop doing things that will get you in trouble. I’m not some great guy who has never done anything wrong, in fact i’ve done some stupid stuff we all have. But i’ve managed not to put myself into a position to have serious allegations against me. If I had as much to lose as these athletes i certainly would stay out of trouble.

  31. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt after the charges were dropped initially, but where there’s smoke, there’s fire. He continues to find himself in these bad situations, which tends to suggest a repeated pattern of bad behavior. See you later Ray, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  32. Steve Young was right. Zero leadership in the locker room to allow this crap to happen.
    Ray was playing pretty well on the field. Too bad his real life is a mess off it.
    Now more reps for Tank Caradine. He had two sacks last week. Could be a full time starter next year.
    Harbaugh: I can’t get out of here fast enough.

  33. I’m not by any means a 49ers fan (actually hate them), but this realistically could be a trumpt up charge attempt by a victim’s advocate to force McDonald into the NFL’s brand spankin’ new personal conduct punishment. Due to McDonald’s recent accusation that didn’t result in charges, the police would absolutely be forced to fully investigate any accusation (true or not) & the media would be ALL over it. Given the current temperament in the NFL regarding this whole subject, that would instantly lead to pretty harsh treatment of any player by Teams & NFL…regardless of truthfulness to the charges. Hopefully the NFL &/or team did it’s own investigation & found sufficient evidence incriminating the player of the charge. Otherwise, it would be a huge travesty if players now started getting cut by teams simply because of an accusation. I’m not saying that I believe he is or isn’t guilty. Simply saying that I hope level heads are actively participating in this shark infested blood frenzy.

  34. How desperate can some of these fans be? To ask for this guy to be on their team is so desperate. I’m a Vikings fan, and I could care less if we let AP go. Some fans I tell ya, so desperate for their club.

  35. pgilbert15303 says:
    Dec 17, 2014 3:46 PM
    Lol…. Beast mode. Pete will pick him up in the off season and you’ll slobber all over him.

    In our society we give people the benefit of the doubt, but this guy blew it.

    Be careful to jump on a team for one players action. Karma strikes back with vengeance.
    ————————-
    1.) Pete wouldn’t pick this guy up, he’s not a seahawk type player
    2.) If he did, I wouldn’t “Slobber all over him” nor any player, its football for christ sake
    3.)Yes, yes we do, and its funny how the NFL only does when it suits them.
    4.) The Niners are my teams rival, why would i not jump on them? Do niners fans leave seahawks topics be?
    5.)Karma doesn’t exist, coincidence does.

  36. Of course they cut him now, they’ve been eliminated from the playoffs. When they still had a chance they kept him around.

  37. beastmode5150 says:
    Dec 17, 2014 3:38 PM
    Ok, i know you guys are out of the playoffs, so you probably won’t post anymore, but any Niner fans that said we were all silly for “Falsely accusing” mcdonald of being a horrible human, come in here, the crow is ready to eat.

    …spoken like a true Seadderol bandwagon fan.

    ur team is only in it still due to help from the refs

  38. Hard to believe he can be that stupid with all he’s already been through. If this is indeed true he has major issues and needs locked up before he does more harm.

  39. So the Niners decide to stand on principle only AFTER they have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. I’m sure that’s not a coincidence. Pathetic, but better late than never.

  40. And if what if this was a false accusation from a scorned lover? Goodell’s policies will have killed this guy’s career.

  41. “With all these NFL players going to jail we will be able to build an all pro grid iron gang..
    Aaron Hernandez , Ryan Leaf, Ray McDonald”

    Rae Carruth could be captain, he’s been in the longest.

  42. savagenation2011 says:
    Dec 17, 2014 4:13 PM
    beastmode5150 says:
    Dec 17, 2014 3:38 PM
    Ok, i know you guys are out of the playoffs, so you probably won’t post anymore, but any Niner fans that said we were all silly for “Falsely accusing” mcdonald of being a horrible human, come in here, the crow is ready to eat.

    …spoken like a true Seadderol bandwagon fan.

    ur team is only in it still due to help from the refs
    ————–
    Uhh, ok? hahaha.

  43. i think it is safe to say the niners window has closed. 3 great yrs though. 2 nfc champ gms and 1 SB. but not they have a new stadium and bad team. not a good combo. ask giants/jets with metlife stadium.

  44. Beastmode5150 I think you’re being a bit too literal if you think I was quoting you. That was an exaggerated (but fairly accurate) depiction of the average Seahawks fan. Even after we’ve lost our season, you’re still rubbing our faces in it. THAT is why we think Seattle fans have an inferiority complex. Cause you obviously still have something to prove. Why should I leave? This article is about MY team.

  45. I guess Jim Harbaugh doesn’t care about due process anymore now that his trash team has been eliminated from the playoffs. Karma for when he was sanctimoniously pontificating about that.

  46. The 49ers sure have gotten away from the “Gold Star” guys they talk about. These are supposed to be great character guys, the type of guys you’d want as your own sons. It takes character to know character, so that’s not saying too much for the ownership and front office. When Eddie DeBartolo owned the team, they won multiple Super Bowls and had great character players. They proved that you CAN win with a bunch of choir boys.

  47. Goodell might as well just build a luxury dorm on his mega estate in Connecticut for all players to live there for the duration of their careers so that he can watch over them 24/7/365.

    I’d live there if I were a player. Then, I wouldn’t have to worry about any one of the millions of people out there who can ruin my career with one phone call.

  48. I suspect they didn’t cut him just based on the news reports we’ve seen.
    I would bet a lot of money they know things we don’t know yet and that they are certain that any due process, assumption of innocence type statements would just be delaying the inevitable.

  49. isaidjoe

    I can’t speak to other Seahawk fans, only myself. I tend to live in the now, and as of now, Seattle has the upper hand, so its natural to be excited, and rip the rival. If you are too thin skinned to take fans of seattle making statements about how a dirtbag is indeed a dirtbag, then maybe you shouldn’t read message boards. So for the record, myself, and many many Seahawks fans have nothing to prove and understand very well that this board is for entertainment. You may want to switch to decaf bro.

  50. str53ngth says:
    Dec 17, 2014 3:49 PM
    Two separate incidents. He was exonerated from the first. Do you clowns research at all before you throw inflammatory comments around?

    _____________

    Exonerated????

    No the DA choose not to file due to lack of evidence that is totally different then exonerated.

  51. LOL sorry beastmode5150. We aren’t like the 2012th man. We still show up during the down times. You know like about 75+ of the hawk commentors that magically appeared.

  52. To all those claiming he was cut because they were eliminated from the playoffs last week:

    “As a financial matter, McDonald was signed for next year, with a cap number of $6,475,985. There will be $4,609,971 of dead money, and $1,806,014 in cap savings, per Spotrac.”

    Time to clean house.

  53. The 49ers finally realized all those bad calls going against them all season was the NFL’s punishment for not suspending McDonald from the beginning.

  54. What about Aldon Smiths paytern of bad decisions Trent? Multiple DUis crashing into a tree, passed out at the wheel, pills, drugs and guns found, house parties with stabbings and people getting shot, threatening to blow up an airport….etc. i guess a 1st rd draft status and contract longevity outweighs A PATTERN OF BAD DECISIONS.

  55. goldrush, you realize that the Seahawks have been known to have one of the most loyal fanbases in the history of the NFL since the team started in 1976 right? Oh wait, nevermind, i already know you don’t know that. Niners fans DONT show up during down times, but you aren’t alone, most fan bases, when down, don’t tend to post on message boards as much. Great attendance you guys have had down there, even when you were still in it (sarcasm)

  56. @beastmode5150

    80% of athletes are “horrible humans.”

    50% of the NFL would be out of the league right now if they really looked at anything these guys did off the field. The other 30% just need a few more years to commit crimes they’ll never be charged on.

    The 49ers stand on Ray was about due process. They personally, had no issues with him before and let the courts decide. I’m ok with them not freaking out like the inept media and stupid fans.

    Ray has now become a headache, time to get rid of the nonsense.

    Most pro athletes are “human trash” by the standards of how they treat women, also note there are plenty of non-athletes that are in the exact same boat.

    TLDR: Due process is important; most athletes are trash when it comes to women.

  57. @tonebones

    As a Niners fan, I can tell you that team had as many trouble makers off the field as anyone else, it’s about being caught. Joe was the biggest womanizer of them all.

  58. I actually have to agree with goldrush. There was no more than 5 seahawks fans here before the superbowl. That most loyal fanbase spiel is a joke. I have seen pictures from 2009 of Seahawks fans with bags over their heads. Just google it.

  59. This guy is so stupid its scary….I dare any team to pick this clown up…in the middle of the biggest crisis in NFL history when it comes to player conduct this guy gets accused of beating up his pregnant girlfriend and then raping another…he needs to be in jail before he harms anyone else….the 49ers are scum for protecting this animal, about time they did the right thing….

  60. My money is on the Packers signing him, as the only way to get players to move to that godforsaken wasteland is either by the indentured servitude that is the draft or signing free agent criminals who have no other choice.

  61. see what happens? you all crucified greg hardy who despite popular belief hasn’t been found guilty of anything and let the 9ers skate on this D bag. the NFL/media/fans are blind

  62. beastmode5150 says:
    Dec 17, 2014 4:55 PM
    goldrush, you realize that the Seahawks have been known to have one of the most loyal fanbases in the history of the NFL since the team started in 1976 right?
    ~~~~~
    Those 50,000 or so fans should be commended. Most of the rest are front-runner 😉

  63. purpleguy says:
    Dec 17, 2014 5:19 PM
    My money is on the Packers signing him, as the only way to get players to move to that godforsaken wasteland is either by the indentured servitude that is the draft or signing free agent criminals who have no other choice.

    ———
    Feel free to compare the arrest records of vikings vs. packers and let me know if you need help getting that foot out of your mouth!

  64. guilty before proven innocent?

    Wake me up when women who falsely accuse men of domestic violence/rape are given the same sentence as a man who would be convicted of both crimes

  65. i don’t think their handling of mcdonald was the sole reason things unraveled so quickly for the 49ers – having an insufferable egomaniac as a head coach certainly didn’t help – but karma is real.

  66. Should the Chargers pick him up (salary cap permitting)?

    Pros:
    1. They play the 49ers this weekend and knows their playbook.
    2. Their best defensive lineman(Corey Liuget) is nursing a sore ankle

    Cons:
    1. He is accused of rape, after being accused of domestic violence 2 months ago.

    Sell your soul to make the playoffs???

  67. I agree with you steeloven89 because women who falsely accuse, actually make it harder to convict guilty rapists. So these women are really harmful toward women. Having said that, the 49ers probably did their homework in both of McDonald’s cases.

  68. can anyone tell me what deterrent is out there to prevent women from lying about being raped/domestic abuse?

    have any women been sent to prison for falsely accusing a man of rape?

  69. @steeloven89

    can anyone tell me what deterrent is out there to prevent women from lying about being raped/domestic abuse?

    Science, for one. Reads as if the accuser went to the hospital and had a rape kit, which is exactly what you’re supposed to do if you claim to be the victim. The search was probably to investigate the story that was told. If this is the case then the truth can be known. In our society it is so much better for these matters to be settled in a court with science than on a web site populated with anonymous comments.

  70. can anyone tell me what deterrent is out there to prevent women from lying about being raped/domestic abuse?

    have any women been sent to prison for falsely accusing a man of rape?
    ———————————————
    This is a very touchy subject as there is a huge difference between not being able to prove a rape and actually lying about it. A woman in Virginia was given a prison sentence for lying about a rape when she later admitted she lied. She was given a prison sentence for perjury because she lied about it in court under oath. Other liars have been sued successfully for defamation of character. Others have had to pay restitution, others have had to pay fines to cover the cost of police/ legal work under obstruction of justice.

  71. In my mind the 49ers and especially JH are indirectly responsible for the rape. They made Mc feel like he could get away with anything and still play.

  72. I’m sure he has the toll money to cross over the bridge to his new home …. Oakland. He will be a hero to Raider Nation.

  73. This proves what the problem in Niners-ville was this year. It was Jimbo standing-by his ‘mighty-men’ while the GM and possibly owner wanted to cut, or at least suspend Ray McDondald at the beginning of the season. Also can add in that Jimbo played Aldon Smith in the Indy game last year less than 24 hours after a DUI stop.

    The (maybe) 24th ranked offense will probably get better next year. Now, just need a QB who scans the field for open receivers.

  74. Weird that they cut him the week following their loss that mathematically eliminated them from the playoffs. I’m sure that was pure coincidence.

  75. This is a result of the new NFL policy. If they cut him now they pay him for the next 2 games and they are done. If they wait until Goodell puts him on the exempt list, they may have to pay him for years while his case plays out.

  76. i know this isn’t going to be popular, but you all need to remember innocence until proven guilty.

    remember duke lacrosse? brian banks? there are many other instances out there where the woman flat out lied, so just keep that in mind. sure, this guy does have a pattern of bad reported behavior but that doesn’t mean he did this one, even if he was guilty all other times.

    but i do completely agree that he was cut simply because san fran was out of the playoff picture. that’s easy.

  77. There would be a different attitude if they still had a shot.
    Principles are very malleable in the NFL.

  78. What happened to the global champions of “due process”???? Gtd would npt have cut him if still in playoff hunt. What a stinking pile of crapola this team is

  79. The Niners are currently a joke.
    Or.. a punchline. One or the other.
    Nothing like they were in their 11 year heyday…

  80. Odd timing of this decision. When the team was in the hunt, they stood by McDonal ms while pointing to due process. Now that the team is out of the playoff race, they dump the player with no deference to due process.

  81. Boy are the wheels falling off of this team.

    You can always get new wheels and clean the car. Guys like McDonald were obviously a cancer to the team. It was time to clean house. Im sure there’s more to come.

  82. And if the niners kept him, you would be singing their praises for adherence to due process? He was backed by the organization in a first offense, but he skrewed up and niners cut ties, good move. For those of you saying its about their playoff position. McDonald would been part of 2015 plan and will pay $8mm in dead money anyway. You’re just trying to pile on without any logic.

  83. Hurrr “innocent till proven guilty,” Durrr

    Last time I look, this guy hasn’t been sentenced for rape yet. That’s what innocent until proven guilty means. Meanwhile, an employer can fire an employee at any time for just about any reason. Becoming front page news for getting in trouble with the law is a wonderfully acceptable reason to take out some trash. Please, carry on with your sanctimonious black knight, defend the poor helpless villain routine.

    And whoever decided to sign all these niner low characters should be fired. It’s getting ridiculous when Oakland can point at you and say, “what a bunch of criminals.”

  84. Did anyone catch Sunday Morning Countdown on ESPN this morning? The sudden invitation to have Mike Shanahan on, followed by a one-one-one interview where he was asked if he would consider returning to coaching next year. His slippery response was simply that he wanted to win (while sporting a knowing sh*t-eating grin on his face). Of the expected coaching vacancies for next year, is there actually another team with the roster talent to rebound from one bad year as quickly as the niners and make a run in the post-season? That just looked like a pre-arranged opportunity to give a little wink to York, since I don’t think teams are “technically” allowed to start interviewing for a position that is still filled by someone else.

    It makes perfect sense. Think about it – he was OC for one of the 49er SB wins in the 90’s (so he already has connections to the team and ownership), he took the Broncos to back-to-back SB wins (winning pedegree as a head coach), and he has the personality and credibility to silence all the fans who think York and Balke are nuts for firing Harbaugh, despite his personality flaws. Ownership would be mocked into perpetuity for firing such a successful winning coach if he’s not replaced by someone who, by virtue of his past resume, would be able to immediately silence the critics.

    Oh yeah, almost forgot to state the most obvious point – he’s widely considered to be an offensive mastermind (forget the Washington stint…Vince Lombardi couldn’t have created a winner under that cloud of doom). Mike Shanahan as HC, Kyle Shanahan as OC (the same OC who coached another running QB during his pretty decent rookie season). Kaep has nowhere near the ego of RG3, and there won’t be an owner coddling his QB behind the scenes, so this makes sense for evaluating whether to keep Kaep after next season.

    Shanahan talking about a return to coaching on TV just this morning, but only for a winning team – and tonight we hear that the decision on Harbaugh will be swift.

    Anyone wish to challenge?

  85. You have to wonder how much celebration the league will allow when Jameis Winston is drafted in the first round next year – especially if sexual assault charges are pending. So much for trying to sell the NFL as a place that tolerates only role models.

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