Ex-Bears QB Erik Kramer Won't Serve Jail Time in Domestic Violence Case

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 20, 2019

11 Oct 1998:  Quarterback Erik Kramer #12 of the Chicago Bears looks on during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Bears 20-7. Mandatory Credit: Aubrey Washington  /Allsport
Aubrey Washington/Getty Images

Former NFL quarterback Erik Kramer was ordered to complete an 18-month mental health diversion program in order to avoid jail time in a domestic violence case stemming from a June 2018 altercation with his wife, Cortney Baird.

On Saturday, TMZ Sports reported the misdemeanor battery charge against Kramer, which could have led to six months in jail if he was convicted at trial, will be dropped if he finishes the program.

Baird told TMZ afterward she feared for her life and her daughter's life because her husband had access to guns.

"I am terrified that he is out looking for me at this very moment and will kill me and my daughter," she said.

Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times reported Baird also filed for divorce afterward. It's unclear if that process was ever finalized.

Kramer, 54, attempted suicide in August 2015. He discussed his ongoing issues with depression, which he said became a constant factor in his life since at least 1996, during a May 2016 interview with Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

"All of that came to sort of an end, and it was time to either do it or not do it," Kramer said. "I think I hung out for a little bit. I think I may have gone to eat some dinner somewhere and then came back and, I don't know what time, but sort of took the gun, crawled into bed and pulled the trigger."

He added: "The high, I guess, that I was on from playing and playing well, it did not last throughout, say, the next full offseason. So, yeah, I began to, I guess, question things and feel—I think some depression crept in before the start of the next season, in '96."

He spent a majority of the following nine months in two California hospitals but told Birkett he emerged without any suicidal thoughts.

Kramer went undrafted out of NC State in 1987. He went on to play for the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears, San Diego Chargers and the CFL's Calgary Stampeders during a 13-year playing career.

The California native retired from the NFL following the 1999 season.

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