Tampa, Fla. Darnell McDonald was waived by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a day before he was charged with battery and burglary. Tampa has a zero-tolerance policy toward off-field violence.
The 23-year-old wide receiver was released Thursday after the club learned charges would be filed. McDonald, a former Kansas State standout, was arrested Friday on felony charges of aggravated battery with great bodily harm and burglary of a vehicle. He was released two hours later on $5,000 bail.
Bucs coach Tony Dungy would not confirm that the charges played a part in the team's decision.
McDonald, a second-year player, appeared in eight games last season, catching nine passes for 96 yards and a touchdown. Already low on the team's depth chart, his position was made even more precarious when the Bucs acquired star receiver Keyshawn Johnson from the New York Jets during the offseason.
McDonald, a former seventh-round draft pick, said he understands the Bucs' actions. He said Dungy "just made the decision that was best for the team. They can win with the group of guys that he has there."
Police have not released details and McDonald would not specifically discuss what happened in the early morning July 14 on a downtown street corner.
"The bottom line is, the thing that the (other) guy did wasn't good and what I did wasn't good," McDonald said.
The NFL, its image bruised by the recent arrests of some high-profile players, says it is cracking down on players involved in off-the-field violence. McDonald says that despite the charges, he hopes another team will sign him.
"Hopefully, I have the skills to play somewhere," he said.