George McCaskey admits second-guessing signing of Ray McDonald

AP

Bears owner George McCaskey said the decision to sign Ray McDonald this offseason was his.

So when he says he’s second-guessing that decision, he means he’s second-guessing his own process.

Via Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune, McCaskey told reporters that even though he initially said no and was talked into adding the troubled defensive lineman, that the decision to bring him aboard was “my decision, ultimately, alone.”

So it follows that he didn’t blame General Manager Ryan Pace for the embarrassing addition.

“Not at all. We have complete confidence in Ryan,” McCaskey said.

At the same time, he said he didn’t have any input on Monday’s decision to cut him when McDonald was again arrested for a domestic violence charge.

“I wasn’t involved because I didn’t need to be,” he said. “They knew what needed to be done and did it.”

McCaskey talked to McDonald prior to agreeing to sign him, warning him that his behavior had to improve. When it did not, McCaskey’s doubts crept in.

When asked why he didn’t talk to any of McDonald’s accusers prior to signing him, McCaskey said: “One of my concerns was the bias anybody has in that situation.”

Yet he didn’t consider that McDonald or his family might carry a bias themselves, which put him in the uncomfortable spot of answering questions today.

33 responses to “George McCaskey admits second-guessing signing of Ray McDonald

  1. Nice picture. The man knows nothing about football or football players and should keep himself and his family out of operations. Virginia, too.

    He based his decision partially on the fact that McDonald bought his own plane ticket for the chit chat that got him signed. Idiot.

  2. FREE RAY MCDONALD!!! Guys, we’re all headed to NFL HQ in NYC to protest! We’re also starting a fund for him. Please donate generously. There is NO PROOF HE DID THIS! NONE! Just some crooked police and a lying ex GF. They don’t even understand the “Ideal gas your girlfriend ” law!!

  3. I lilke the fact that he owned the decision and didn’t throw anybody under the bus. Wish more owners, and people for that matter, did the same. Good on you George.

  4. From a report I read the Bears due diligence was a Bear official interviewing his parent or parents of all people to judge his character but not interviewing the victim which they deemed could be bias. If this is true someone should be fired incompetence.

  5. It speaks volumes that the league failed to discipline a man who’s had five alleged run ins with the law in five years, yet they’ll suspend a guy harshly who has one alleged incident that required the involvement of law enforcement.

  6. I’m not honestly sure what the big deal is here. The Bears signed him to a small contract with no guaranteed money, giving him a conditional second chance, allowing him a chance to prove he could turn his life around and be a better person.

    He didn’t live up to that hope, but I don’t think that reflects poorly on the Bears. They cut him immediately when he abused the trust they offered him.

    This is on Ray McDonald, not Pace or McCaskey.

  7. I give him credit… he’s the first McCaskey in a long long time that has actually stepped up and taken ownership of his own bad decisions and the recent tragic state of the Bears in general. He’s not perfect by any means but he seems to have a lot more on the ball than the other yahoos in that clan.

  8. George stepped up after getting excoriated by the local press for not stepping up.

    I wonder if Virginia is still “pissed off.”

  9. McDonald and the ‘victim’ settled out of court on her previous allegation. Such settlements usually require that details of the deal are sealed and confidential. Therefore, I do not see how the Bears could have interviewed her prior to their decision to sign McDonald.

  10. I love, love, love the fact that the McCaskeys run this team, and that there is zero chance of a change in ownership.

    Their sole qualification for running an NFL team is because their parents had sex.

  11. I don’t see any missteps here. The Bears went out on a limb to give the guy one last chance at turning things around. If McDonald had cleaned up his act, it would have been a feel good story someday. But as soon as he proved otherwise, they immediately let him go. The contract had minimal commitments, so nothing was lost.

  12. I’very seen articles basically advocating for the Bears to be severely punished for hiring McDonald.

    No business should be penalized for providing an individual with a second chance. We already have enough punitive punishments in terms of hiring individuals with criminal backgrounds in this country and putting more roadblocks to them obtaining gainful employment isn’t the answer. Whatever their motivation the Bears took a chance on a player who was not suspended by the league and thus available to anyone to sign. As soon as that player messed up he was dismissed. And dismissal was done without a conviction. There is nothing more that should have been done by the Bears. Unless a player is banned/suspended from the league a team shouldn’t have to pay any league penalties whatsoever if that player has been deemed eligible by the league. Either the player is eligible or not. Enough with lynch mob trying to punish teams for someone else’s action.

  13. Bears took a reputational risk giving this guy a 2nd chance but covered themselves contractually. It didn’t work out and they folded their hand before it got out of control.

    Bears shouldn’t regret giving a guy a second chance or taking it away. Wish more organizations handled their embarrassments like this.

  14. If they hadn’t released him, the media would have ran with that. Hell, you guys were being critical when the Bears didnt say anything publicly fast enough for your liking, a whole 3hours after the news of the arrest.

    Now it sounds like you’re giving grief FOR releasing him. Good grief.

    And don’t act like they should have known. Fact is, Mcdonald has been wrongly accused of things in the past. And domestic violence is a crime where guys get railroaded alot in this country on. Maybe the thought wasn’t a bad guy, just a poor judge of character.

    It’s easy to second guess now, but one can view the Bears mgmt perspective quite easily. They need talent, they recognized he was a risk, paid and warned him accordingly, then did the right thing when it didnt work out. What else do you want?

    Slow time of the year for you guys, I get that. But still, media gonna media.

  15. It appears that McDonald is going to be completely absolved of this one. Breaking into his own place? And I think we all know where any bruises came from.

    McCaskey simply didn’t have the stomach to stand by his player. It’s symptomatic of the Bears disease – the front office.

  16. It’s amazing what SHEEP people are. People read “Assaulted her while she was holding a baby” and they assume one thing, when it could be he just grabbed her by the shoulders or something, especially since this is HER version of what happened.

    People also say “he’s had 4 or 5 run ins with the law already” – one of them was for “suspicion of DUI” oooohhh what a criminal, they suspected him of DUI, you guys!!! Another of his “run ins with the law” was that crazy chick who accused him of raping her even though his cameras showed otherwise.

    Let the FACTS come out, you sheep.

  17. I love the people who say McCaskey should stay out of the operations of the company he owns, what a joke. He’s been around the Bears organisation his whole life, I’m pretty sure he’s got a good working knowledge of how to run a football team. and as far as everyone blaming the Bears for giving this lout a chance, what harm did it do did it cost them anything, no. the only blame that should be placed is on McDonald , He was to stupid to realize he had a chance to turn his life around. any and all blame for this fiasco goes to McDonald

  18. I don’t get this “flak” business. Like plenty of teams in the NFL, the Bears took a chance on a guy with a checkered past. The checkered past reared its ugly head. The organization canned McDonald without him ever playing a down as a Bear.

    Why the “flak?” If the Bears were standing by McDonald, I’d understand the flak. But, the Bears tossed him aside when they had reason to.

    What is there to criticize about the Bears? The decision to sign him in the first place? Giving the guy a chance?

  19. Some idiot media types are calling for Bears to be docked draft choices for signing an eligible player, giving him a second chance and then blaming the Bears when it did not work out. Isn’t that Blaming the Victim? The Bears were victimized by Ray McDonald. They gave him a second chance to turn his life around, paid him some money, and he did not do it. How is this the Bears fault?

    The criminal is Ray McDonald. No one else is to blame.

  20. “vicnocal says:
    May 27, 2015 3:40 PM
    It’s amazing what SHEEP people are. People read “Assaulted her while she was holding a baby” and they assume one thing, when it could be he just grabbed her by the shoulders or something, especially since this is HER version of what happened.
    =========================================

    Webster’s dictionary defines “Hyopcrisy” as: the behavior of people who do things that they tell other people not to do

    It’s best not to blast others for assuming things and then in the same sentence make your OWN assumption of what happened. Clearly something happened bad enough for 911 to be called and the police to arrest him… again.

  21. Not a Bears fan, but the only problem I have with how this was handled, both the signing and the cutting, is that Baalke cut him because of a “pattern of questionable behavior”.
    Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll, Al Davis, Ron Wolf, Jerry Jones all signed guys with question marks.

  22. vicnocal says:
    May 27, 2015 3:40 PM
    It’s amazing what SHEEP people are. People read “Assaulted her while she was holding a baby” and they assume one thing, when it could be he just grabbed her by the shoulders or something, especially since this is HER version of what happened.

    People also say “he’s had 4 or 5 run ins with the law already” – one of them was for “suspicion of DUI” oooohhh what a criminal, they suspected him of DUI, you guys!!! Another of his “run ins with the law” was that crazy chick who accused him of raping her even though his cameras showed otherwise.

    Let the FACTS come out, you sheep.
    —————————————-

    He’s a bad guy either way you slice it. He’s dumb anyway you slice it. And now he’s probably out of the league entirely.

    This coming from a guy who has zero times been suspected of DUI, zero times grabbed my wife by the shoulders, zero times went after my wife while she was holding one of our kids, and never been accused of rape either.

    I’m sorry, but where there is smoke… there is fire. And this guy is a time bomb. The Bears should have been smart enough to know better. Let’s say it is all this woman’s fault which seems convenient for guys who are constantly “accused” or “suspected” of doing bad things. That chick is crazy, right?

    Anyway, if it is “her fault” and he is too dumb to cut ties with her and he deserves whatever comes his way in my opinion.

  23. I have respect for this owner and franchise for the way they handled the situation. McDonald was granted a second chance, which he failed to appreciate. If someone shows you who they are, believe them.

  24. It’s time for the McCaskey family to sell the Bears. The heirs of Papa Bear have proven once again what a bunch of incompetent boobs are running this team! First Michael and now George. Do the league and the city of Chicago a favor and sell!

  25. George McCaskey is a good, decent person. He deserves lots of credit for feeling accountable for something that should not even be remotely related to him. On the contrary, he showed compassion when he gave McDonald a second chance. Way to go, George. You are doing a heck of job in your effort to restoring the greatness of the Bears, and you are refreshing in the current picture of the NFL!

  26. I understand the motivation behind those saying that teams should be punished for signing habitual offenders, BUT that is a very dangerous direction. It will be a very bad (if not illegal) situation if the league ever tries to decide who is and who isn’t worthy of a second chance. If our justice system convicts someone of a violent offense that is one thing. However, to kick someone out of the league because of allegations is crazy. I’m not saying the Bears were wrong to cut him, I’m just saying we should wait for a conviction to say he’s out of the league forever!!!

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