He was waived on September 10, 1968, following a season with 33 receptions for 436 yards and 4 touchdowns.
On March 15, 1969, he announced his retirement after registering 7 receptions for 113 yards and one touchdown in the previous season.
He was selected for six Pro Bowls, led the league in touchdown receptions twice (1958, 1960), and led the league in receiving yards once (1960). McDonald was the last non-kicker to play in the NFL without a facemask.
McDonald finished his career with 495 receptions for 8,410 yards and 84 touchdowns, the second highest total of touchdown receptions in NFL history at the time. He also rushed for 22 yards and gained 1,459 yards and a touchdown]] returning punts and kickoffs on special teams, giving him 9,891 career all-purpose yards. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.
He also dabbles in art. His portrait of Joe DiMaggio sold at auction for $4,000.