Jay Ratliff was released by the Bears on Thursday.
After accruing 6.5 sacks in just 11 games last season, Ratliff entered 2015 as the Bears' top defensive lineman, making his release an unexpected development. It appears his termination wasn't for performance-based reasons, as Ratliff's dismissal likely stemmed from a heated argument with GM Ryan Pace outside the Bears' practice facility Wednesday morning, according to ESPN Chicago's Jeff Dickerson. The Chicago Sun-Times' Adam Jahns reports that the confrontation required police intervention, with Ratliff ultimately escorted away from the premises. It's not clear what's next for the 34-year-old, whose off-the-field baggage and history of disruptive behavior in the locker room may give other teams pause in signing him.
Jay Ratliff (ankle) is active for Sunday's game against the Chiefs.
After serving a three-game suspension to begin the season and missing another game due to the ankle injury he sustained in the preseason, Ratliff is finally ready to make his 2015 debut. He's expected to start at the three-technique tackle spot, moving rookie Eddie Goldman to a bench role.
Defensive lineman Jeremiah Ratliff has been added back to the Chicago Bears ' 53-man roster after completing his three-game suspension, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports.
The Bears opened up a spot for Ratliff by trading away linebackers Jared Allen and Jon Bostic on Monday. Viewed as the Bears' top defensive lineman, Ratliff is expected to ascend back into the starting lineup at the three-technique tackle spot for the team's Week 4 matchup with the Oakland Raiders .
Ratliff can participate in the preseason, but he will not be allowed to return to the team until Monday, Sept. 28. He pleaded guilty in April to a DWI charge from 2013, where he crashed his car into an 18-wheeler and his blood-alcohol limit was more than twice the legal limit.
Ratliff had 6.5 sacks with the Bears last season, his first after four Pro Bowl-seasons with the Cowboys.
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