Chicago Bears Sign Ray McDonald: Confessions from a 49ers Fan


Sep 14, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald (91) rushes the passer against Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long (75) during the second quarter at Levi

Some people are questioning the Bears recent free agent signing of Ray McDonald, so I wanted to ask some questions of my own. I reached out to Doug Totten from NinnerNoise to ask him a few questions about the Bears new free agent Defensive End.

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Can you tell our readers a little about yourself?

"My name is Doug Totten and I’ve been an editor at NinerNoise for over a year now and have conducted interviews with 49ers players and associates, and the usual stuff you’d expect writing about the club."

What can you tell Bears fans about Ray McDonald?

"Ray McDonald is a very gifted defensive lineman. He was one of the anchors on the 49ers’ defensive line. There is a reason the 49ers stood by him after the first allegation, he was good enough to take that risk. McDonald was at his best playing alongside Justin Smith (who wouldn’t be?) but in Smith’s absence he was the best lineman we had."

When the 49ers released McDonald, how much did it hurt the defense?

"It definitely hurt the 49ers defense when we let McDonald go. It is difficult to say exactly how much, though, since this was pretty much a lost and disastrous season all around. Had it been another year, I could tell you more. Our defensive front did become a lot weaker against the run, though."

Do you think the Bears are taking too big of a risk picking up McDonald?

"The Bears are making a smart football move in picking up Ray McDonald. The Cowboys are taking a much bigger risk with Greg Hardy, in my opinion, than the Bears with McDonald. Granted, Hardy is considered the better player (though they play different positions and it is difficult to compare them). McDonald is definitely a risk, but in my opinion more so if anything else comes up from what happened then what will happen in the future. I think he’s learned his lesson."

What the heck is going on with the 49ers? Do they have a chance in the NFC West next year?

"The 49ers have had a really confusing and mind-numbing offseason. The biggest loss, though, was probably Chris Borland. Everyone else could be replaced, and for cheaper, but now the 49ers have to address inside linebacker too. That changes the whole draft dynamic.Honestly, the 49ers chances come down to two things, even after the Borland retirement: Colin Kaepernick’s progression and the quality of an unknown coaching staff. It’s a crystal ball at this point, but I don’t think it’s as bad as it seems on the surface. My best guess is a 9-7 record and second best in the NFC West while missing the playoffs again."

I want to thank Doug from NinerNoise for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions about Ray McDonald. Make sure you go to NinerNoise for all your 49ers news and info. Let me know what you think about the Bears signing Ray McDonald in the comments section below.

Go Bears!