T. J. McDonald

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T.J. McDonald
refer to caption
McDonald with the St. Louis Rams in 2014
No. 22 – Miami Dolphins
Position: Safety
Personal information
Born: (1991-01-26) January 26, 1991 (age 27)
Fresno, California
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 217 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school: Edison (Fresno, California)
College: Southern California
NFL Draft: 2013 / Round: 3 / Pick: 71
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 2, 2018
Total tackles: 339
Sacks: 5.0
Interceptions: 6
Pass deflections: 22
Forced fumbles: 1
Player stats at NFL.com

Timothy "T. J." McDonald, Jr. (born January 26, 1991) is an American football safety for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played college football at USC.

Early years[edit]

McDonald was born in Fresno, California. He attended Edison High School in Fresno, where he played high school football for the Edison Tigers. He was considered the second-best safety recruit in the nation by Rivals.com and Scout.com.[1][2]

College career[edit]

McDonald during his time at USC

McDonald enrolled at the University of Southern California, where he played for the USC Trojans football team from 2009 to 2012. As a freshman in 2009, McDonald was a backup safety and special teamer, recording seven tackles in 13 games. In 2010, he took over as a starter and had a team leading 89 tackles, three interceptions and a quarterback sack. He was a second-team All-Pacific-10 Conference selection.[3] After a successful junior season in 2011, McDonald was highly decorated with awards. He was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection[4] and received first-team All-American honors from Pro Football Weekly[5] and The Sporting News.[6]

As a senior, he enjoyed the best season of his career in 2012, leading the team with 112 tackles, including 6.5 for loss, a sack, and two interceptions, and was named second-team All-Pac-12.

Professional career[edit]

External video
T.J. McDonald's NFL Combine Workout
Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 2 in
(1.88 m)
219 lb
(99 kg)
33 18 in
(0.84 m)
9 14 in
(0.23 m)
4.59 s 1.58 s 2.57 s 4.20 s 6.89 s 40 in
(1.02 m)
10 ft 11 in
(3.33 m)
19 reps x
All values from NFL Combine[7][8]

St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams[edit]

The St. Louis Rams selected McDonald in the third round (71st overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft. He was the sixth safety selected in 2013.[9]

2013[edit]

On June 14, 2013, the St. Louis Rams signed McDonald to a four-year, $2.92 million contract that includes a signing bonus of $672,740.[10] McDonald entered training camp slated as the starting free safety.[11] Head coach Jeff Fisher named him the starting free safety to start the regular season, alongside strong safety Darian Stewart.[12]

He made his professional regular season debut in the St. Louis Rams' season-opener against the Arizona Cardinals and recorded five combined tackles and a pass deflection in their 27–24 victory.[13] On September 26, 2013, McDonald recorded three combined tackles before exiting the Rams' 35–11 loss to the San Francisco 49ers after slightly fracturing his right leg.[14] On September 27, 2013, the St. Louis Rams placed McDonald on injured reserve with a designation to return list.[15] The injury sidelined him for six games (Weeks 5–10) and he would return to practice on November 21, 2013. He returned in Week 12 and made six combined tackles during a 42–22 win against the Chicago Bears.[16][17] In Week 14, he collected a season-high eight combined tackles in the Rams' 30–10 loss at the Arizona Cardinals.[13] On December 15, 2013, McDonald recorded five combined tackles, deflected a pass, and made his first career interception during a 27–16 victory at the New Orleans Saints in Week 15.[13] He made his first career interception off a pass by Drew Brees that was originally intended for tight end Jimmy Graham on the Saints' first offensive play of the game.[18] The following week, McDonald recorded six solo tackles and made his first career sack on quarterback Mike Glennon during a 23–13 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 16.[19] McDonald finished his rookie season in 2013 with 53 combined tackles (45 solo), four pass deflections, a sack, and an interception in ten games and ten starts.[20]

2014[edit]

McDonald entered training camp slated as the starting strong safety after Darian Stewart departed during free agency. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams opted to move him to strong safety as McDonald was better suited for the position over Rodney McLeod.[21] Head coach Jeff Fisher officially named McLeod and McDonald the starting safeties to begin the season.[22]

In Week 5, he collected a season-high 11 combined tackles (ten solo) and broke up a pass during a 34–28 loss at the Philadelphia Eagles.[23] On December 7, 2014, McDonald made four tackles and intercepted a pass by Robert Griffin III in the Rams' 24–0 victory at the Washington Redskins in Week 14.[23] In Week 16, he tied his season-high of 11 combined tackles (nine solo) and sacked quarterback Eli Manning during a 37–27 loss to the New York Giants.[23] He finished his second season with a career-high 105 combined tackles (84 solo), six pass deflections, two sacks, and an interception in 16 games and 16 starts.[20]

2015[edit]

McDonald and McLeod entered training camp slated as the starting safeties.[24] Head coach Jeff Fisher officially named them the starting duo to begin the season.[25]

On September 27, 2015, McDonald collected a season-high eight combined tackles in the Rams' 12–6 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 3. The following week, he recorded six combined tackles and a sack during a 24–22 win at the Arizona Cardinals in Week 4.[26] He was inactive during the Rams' Week 9 loss at the Minnesota Vikings after injuring his foot the previous week.[27] On December 9, 2015, the St. Louis Rams placed McDonald on injured reserve due to a shoulder injury that would require surgery.[28] Head coach Jeff Fisher stated McDonald had been dealing with the injury throughout the entire season and was placed on injured reserve for his best interest of his sustained health for the future.[29] He finished the 2015 season with 63 combined tackles (39 solo), a pass deflection, and a sack in 11 games and 11 starts.[20]

2016[edit]

The St. Louis Rams moved back to Los Angeles in 2016 after 21 seasons in St. Louis. Head coach Jeff Fisher retained McDonald as the starting strong safety to begin the regular season, along with free safety Maurice Alexander.[30]

In Week 3, McDonald recorded three solo tackles and sacked quarterback Jameis Winston during a 37–32 victory at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[31] The following week, he made one tackle, two pass deflections, and intercepted a pass by Carson Palmer during a 17–13 victory at the Arizona Cardinals in Week 4.[31] On November 27, 2016, McDonald recorded a season-high seven solo tackles during a 49–21 loss at the New Orleans Saints in Week 12.[31] On December 12, 2016, Los Angeles Rams' general manager Les Snead fired head coach Jeff Fisher and named special teams coordinator John Fassel the interim head coach for the last three games of the regular season. The Rams stood at 4–9 at the time and suffered a 42–14 home loss to the Atlanta Falcons the previous day.[32] On January 1, 2017, he made five combined tackles, broke up a pass, and made an interception during the Rams' 44–6 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 17.[31] He finished his last season with the Rams with 64 combined tackles (50 solo), six pass deflections, a career-high two interceptions, and a sack in 16 games and 16 starts.[20] He earned the 58th highest overall grade from Pro Football Focus, among the 89 qualifying safeties.[33]

2017[edit]

On March 29, 2017, it was reported that McDonald received a eight-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. The suspension was in relation to his arrest the previous year (see personal life).[34] He also attended a meeting with the Miami Dolphins on the same day he received his suspension.[35]

Miami Dolphins[edit]

On March 31, 2017, the Miami Dolphins signed McDonald to a one-year, $1.34 million contract.[36][10] During training camp, McDonald competed against Nate Allen to be the starting free safety.[37] Head coach Adam Gase named McDonald the starting free safety for the regular season, along with strong safety Reshad Jones. Nate Allen was named his replacement while he served his eight-game suspension.

On September 2, 2017, the Miami Dolphins signed McDonald to a four-year, $24 million contract extension with $10 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $4.76 million.[10][38]

In Week 10, he made his regular season debut as a member of the Miami Dolphins and collected a season-high nine combined tackles in their 45–21 loss at the Carolina Panthers. On December 3, 2017, McDonald recorded three combined tackles, a pass deflection, and an interception in the Dolphins' 35–9 victory against the Denver Broncos in Week 13.[39] He finished the 2017 season with 45 combined tackles (31 solo), three pass deflections, and an interception in eight games and eight starts.[20] Pro Football Focus gave McDonald an overall grade of 74.3, ranking him 59th among all qualifying safeties in 2017.[40]

2018[edit]

In week 6 against the Chicago Bears, McDonald intercepted quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and made 3 tackles.

NFL statistics[edit]

Year Teams Games Tackles Fumbles Interceptions
GP GS Comb Total Ast Sack FF FR Yds Int Yds Avg Lng TD PD
2013 STL 10 10 53 45 8 1.0 0 0 0 1 -2 -2.0 -2 0 4
2014 STL 16 16 105 84 21 2.0 0 1 3 1 20 20.0 20 0 7
2015 STL 11 11 63 39 24 1.0 1 1 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 1
2016 LA 16 16 64 50 14 1.0 0 0 0 2 0 0.0 0 0 6
2017 MIA 8 8 45 31 14 0.0 0 0 0 1 7 7.0 7 0 3
Career 61 61 330 249 81 5.0 1 2 3 5 25 5 20 0 20

Personal life[edit]

McDonald's father, Tim, also attended USC and played 13 years in the NFL.[41] His brother, Tevin, briefly played for the Oakland Raiders in 2015.

On May 10, 2016, McDonald was arrested for DUI, and was charged on September 15, 2016. In January 2017, he pled guilty for his DUI along with possession of drugs. In the aftermath, McDonald was fined $390, received 36 months of probation, and was ordered to undergo 200 hours of community service in addition to attending a three-month alcohol program along with 18 narcotic anonymous classes.[42] On March 29, 2017, while a free agent, McDonald was suspended for the first eight games of the 2017 season for violating the league's personal conduct policy, regarding his previous DUI charge.[43]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rivals.com bio
  2. ^ Scout.com bio
  3. ^ Pac-10 Football Awards And All-Conference Team Announced
  4. ^ ESPN.com AllPac-12 Team
  5. ^ PFW 2011 All-American Team
  6. ^ The Sporting News All American Team
  7. ^ NFL Combine profile
  8. ^ NFL Draftscout.com
  9. ^ "T.J. McDonald Drafted to the St. Louis Rams in the Third Round of the 2013 NFL Draft". reignoftroy.com. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c "Spotrac.com: T.J. McDonald contract". spotrac.com. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  11. ^ "Ourlads.com: St. Louis Rams Depth Chart: 07/01/2013". Ourlads.com. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  12. ^ "Ourlads.com: St. Louis Rams Depth Chart: 09/05/2013". Ourlads.com. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  13. ^ a b c "NFL Player stats: T.J. McDonald (2013)". NFL.com. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  14. ^ Wesseling, Chris (September 26, 2013). "T.J. McDonald fractures leg in Rams' loss to 49ers". NFL.com. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  15. ^ Wagoner, Nick (September 27, 2013). "McDonald breaks leg, could return". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  16. ^ Crabtree, Curtis (November 21, 2013). "T.J. McDonald returns to practice for Rams". NBCSports.com. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  17. ^ Thomas, Jim (November 24, 2013). "Rams roll to wild 42-21 win over Chicago". StLouisToday.com. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  18. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 15-2013: New Orleans Saints @ St. Louis Rams". NFL.com. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  19. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 16-2013: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ St. Louis Rams". NFL.com. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  20. ^ a b c d e "NFL Player stats: T.J. McDonald (career)". NFL.com. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  21. ^ Gerwell, Steve (May 12, 2014). "Breaking Down St. Louis Rams Roster After the 2014 Draft". bleacherreport.com. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  22. ^ "Ourlads.com: St. Louis Rams Depth Chart: 10/01/2014". ourlads.com. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  23. ^ a b c "NFL Player stats: T.J. McDonald (2014)". NFL.com. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  24. ^ Wagoner, Nick (April 29, 2015). "Rams choose not to exercise option on S Mark Barron". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  25. ^ "Ourlads.com: St. Louis Rams Depth Chart: 10/01/2015". Ourlads.com. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  26. ^ "NFL Player stats: T.J. McDonald (2015)". NFL.com. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  27. ^ Lyons, Joe (November 7, 2015). "Rams facing injury trouble for Vikings game". stltoday.com. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  28. ^ Alper, Josh (December 9, 2015). "Rams lose Robert Quinn, T.J. McDonald to season-ending surgeries". NBCSports.com. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  29. ^ "T.J. McDonald Injury: Updates on Rams Safety's Shoulder and Recovery". bleacherreport.com. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  30. ^ "Ourlads.com: Los Angeles Rams Depth Chart: 10/01/2016". Ourlads.com. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  31. ^ a b c d "NFL Player stats: T.J. McDonald (2016)". NFL.com. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  32. ^ Axson, Scooby (June 29, 2017). "Watch the moment Jeff Fisher told his Rams staff he had been fired". SI.com. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  33. ^ Gonzalez, Alden (March 30, 2017). "Free-agent safety T.J. McDonald suspended 8 games". espn.com. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  34. ^ Klein, Gary (March 29, 2017). "Free-agent safety T.J. McDonald suspended by NFL for eight games". latimes.com. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  35. ^ Wesseling, Chris (March 29, 2017). "T.J. McDonald suspended eight games of 2017 season". NFL.com. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  36. ^ Patra, Kevin (March 31, 2017). "T.J. McDonald signs one-year deal with Miami Dolphins". NFL.com.
  37. ^ "Film Breakdown: How will the Dolphins use their two new safeties? Let's check the tape". miamiherald.com. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  38. ^ Patra, Kevin (September 2, 2017). "Dolphins sign T.J. McDonald to four-year, $24M deal". NFL.com.
  39. ^ "NFL Player stats: T.J. McDonald (2017)". NFL.com. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  40. ^ "Pro Football Focus: T.J. McDonald". profootballfocus.com. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  41. ^ T.J. McDonald and his dad Tim McDonald, USC safeties present and past, are studies in perseverance
  42. ^ "Rams safety T.J. McDonald charged with DUI". NFL.com. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  43. ^ Wesseling, Chris. "T.J. McDonald suspended eight games of 2017 season". NFL.com. Retrieved March 29, 2017.

External links[edit]