Foster has not played since back in October 2018, when the 49ers dropped him amid his latest legal issue. Washington claimed the talented linebacker but never ended up using him. Foster suffered an ACL tear in 2019, further pushing his career off course.
This would be a reunion between Foster and former 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who is on the verge of his first season as Jets HC. Saleh was in place as San Francisco’s DC throughout Foster’s stay with the team. The 49ers drafted Foster 31st overall in 2017, and he ripped off an impressive rookie season. Pro Football Focus graded Foster as a top-10 linebacker that year — Saleh’s first as 49ers DC. Though, the Alabama alum only played 10 games that year and saw his second season stop at six.
Altogether, Foster has played just 16 games. The NFL suspended him to start the 2018 season, following a turbulent offseason that involved multiple arrests — including one for domestic violence. Charges in that case were dropped, but the 49ers waived Foster midway through the ’18 season after he was arrested on DV charges again. The NFL placed him on the commissioner’s exempt list shortly after. Foster spent nearly two years in Washington, landing on season-ending IR in both the 2019 and ’20 seasons.
The former Crimson Tide standout is still just 27 but has obviously hit a career crossroads. The Jets placed fellow ex-first-round linebacker Jarrad Davis on IR Wednesday, shelving him for at least the season’s first three games. C.J. Mosley, who has missed much of his New York tenure due to injury and a 2020 opt-out, leads Gang Green’s linebacking corps.