September 16th, 2021 at 8:58am CST by Zachary Links
The Browns will audition Reuben Foster on Friday, according to a source who spoke with Kimberley A. Martin of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Foster probably won’t be signed straight away, but he could be a candidate for the roster after Sunday’s game against the Texans.
Foster has been making the rounds recently. He worked out for the Jaguars and Jets earlier this month but left both meetings without a deal.
The Browns rolled the dice on defensive tackle Malik McDowell earlier this year and the (very) early returns are promising. McDowell played on 45 of team’s 65 snaps against the Chiefs, en route to an 83.3 grade, the highest of any Cleveland defender. Despite all of his off-the-field issues, Foster could offer similar upside.
Foster has hardly been seen since he was released by the Niners three years ago. Washington shocked the world by claiming him off of waivers, but never saw the field in D.C. Foster suffered an ACL tear in 2019, further pushing his career off course. He also spent 2020 on IR. Between the suspensions and injuries, the 27-year-old has played just 16 total games as a pro.
The 49ers dropped Foster roughly three years ago and he was quickly claimed by Washington. However, the talented linebacker but never ended up using him. Foster suffered an ACL tear in 2019, further pushing his career off course. He also spent 2020 on IR. Between the suspensions and injuries, the 27-year-old has played just 16 total games as a pro.
Foster’s best on-the-field work came as a rookie in 2017, when Pro Football Focus graded him as a top-10 linebacker. Now said to be back at 100%, he’s also drawn interest from the Jets and former Niners coach Robert Saleh. If the Jaguars see him as a fit, he could become this week’s second high-profile signing, after running back Duke Johnsonagreed to join the 16-man practice squad.
All in all, Foster has registered 101 tackles and two passes defensed in 16 total NFL games.
For the first time in over a year, Reuben Foster has re-emerged on the NFL radar. The former first-round pick booked a Thursday workout with the Jets, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
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.
It does not appear that Reuben Foster will ever suit up for the Washington Football Team. WFT’s prior regime claimed Foster off waivers from the 49ers in November 2018 — a controversial decision at the time, given that he had been arrested twice in a matter of months, with the second arrest stemming from a domestic abuse allegation — and he landed on the commissioner’s exempt list shortly after he was claimed. That precluded him from playing for the rest of the 2018 campaign.
He was reinstated in the spring of 2019, but in his first practice with Washington, Foster suffered a torn ACL, LCL, and MCL. He also dealt with nerve damage that left him without feeling in his toes for several months. Last April, WFT made the no-brainer decision to decline his fifth-year option for 2021 — which would have been guaranteed for injury — and though Foster was activated from the PUP list in August 2020, it was clear that he was not anywhere close to his old self. As such, he was shut down again and spent all of 2020 on IR.
Despite all of that, there has been some chatter that Foster could be an integral part of the team’s LB corps in 2021. But as JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington writes, that appears highly unlikely.
Foster is still young enough to be a high-level performer from an age standpoint, as he will turn just 27 next month. Still, he has not played in a game since October 2018 and has not yet been able to overcome his serious leg injuries, so it would be unwise for any club to expect too much of him at this point. Because WFT declined his fifth-year option, he is eligible for unrestricted free agency and will almost certainly need to settle for a minimum contract.
Although there is nothing stopping Washington from being the team to give Foster such a deal, Finlay does not expect that to happen. Instead, Finlay believes the team will seek LB upgrades in the draft and free agency.
OLB Cole Holcomb performed reasonably well in his second pro season, and MLB Jon Bostic is under contract at a reasonable rate in 2021, but Kevin Pierre-Louis is a free agent, and the cupboard is mostly bare beyond that. Washington’s linebackers played better down the stretch in 2020 following head coach Ron Rivera‘s comments that he needed to see more from the group, but some reinforcements are clearly in order.
Rivera has had no problems cutting ties with players brought in prior to his arrival, and Foster, who in 2017 looked primed to become one of the league’s very best LBs, does not appear to be in Rivera’s plans.
November 27th, 2020 at 1:00pm CST by Zachary Links
The [Washington Football Team] has had its fair share of controversies. One of their most polarizing moves took place two years ago today, when they claimed linebacker Reuben Foster off waivers.
Foster stood as one of the NFL’s most talented linebackers. He was also a household name for all of the wrong reasons. The 2017 first-round pick was accused of roughing up his ex-girlfriend, Elissa Ennis, in February of 2018. Ennis went on to recant that story, but, in November, she alleged Foster of abusing her once again at the 49ers’ team hotel in Florida. The Niners dropped him soon after and no one expected him to be claimed off of the waiver wire.
Washington did just that, vowing to keep Foster on the straight-and-narrow and off the field until his legal situation was resolved.
“[We] fully understand the severity of the recent allegations against Reuben. If true, you can be sure these allegations are nothing our organization would ever condone,” VP of player personnel Doug Williams said. “Let me be clear, Reuben will have to go through numerous steps, including the full legal process, an investigation and potential discipline from the NFL, as well as meetings with counselors associated with the team, before he will ever have the opportunity to wear the Burgundy and Gold as a player.”
Still, Foster has yet to actually take the field for the WFT. The ‘backer tore his ACL and MCL in his very first Washington practice, wiping out his 2019 season. Washington activated him this past August, but his lack of strength and explosiveness forced the club to park him on IR once again. Now in his final year under contract, it’s possible that Foster will never actually play a down in D.C. It’s also possible that Foster will never play again in the NFL — we won’t know for sure until the offseason when he gets re-evaluated.
Washington added Colvin last year, doing so after the Texans cut him early in the season. The veteran has played six seasons, seeing action with the Jaguars, Texans and Washington. He will head back to free agency. As with Rodgers, who was the most notable tight end on Washington’s roster entering camp. Following the exits of Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis — and Thaddeus Moss‘ IR trip — Washington does not feature much of note at the position.
Mr. Irrelevant in 2018, Quinn latched on with Washington for two seasons. He operated as Washington’s slot receiver for a time, but with a new regime running the show now, Quinn will head to the waiver wire. However, he would certainly profile as a player who could be added to Washington’s 16-man practice squad. Garnett would as well.
The team added Garnett during training camp, but the former first-round pick has never managed to carve out a consistent role as a pro.
Our first surprise move of Labor Day weekend comes out of Washington. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the team has released safety Sean Davis. Schefter tweets that the team has also cut offensive lineman Timon Parris, while ESPN’s John Keim tweets that Reuben Foster is being placed on IR.
Davis joined Washington this past offseason, snagging a deal that included a $2MM signing bonus. Now, the former second-rounder will be seeking his third team in less than a year. Davis spent his first four seasons with the Steelers. He started 31 games for the team between 2017 and 2018, averaging 86 tackles, 7.5 passes defended, and two interceptions per season. A shoulder injury limited to only a single game in 2019.
Back in 2019, Foster suffered a torn ACL and MCL during his first practice with Washington. That naturally forced him to miss the entire campaign, but after opening 2020 camp on PUP, he was activated by the organization in early August. Unfortunately, Foster has lacked strength and explosiveness throughout the month, and Washington is buying themselves some time (and a roster spot) by placing him on IR.
An undrafted free agent out of Stony Brook in 2018, Parris has seen time in four NFL games.
Foster suffered a torn ACL, MCL, and LCL in his first Washington practice back in May of 2019. Foster also suffered nerve damage, further complicating an already challenging recovery. The 26-year-old only just regained feeling in his toes earlier this year, so this marks a major step forward for him.
The controversial linebacker could provide a huge boost to Washington’s front seven in 2020. He’ll also have extra motivation as he retakes the field – Ron Rivera & Co. declined his fifth-year option for 2021, putting him on course for free agency in March.
Between his suspensions and injuries, Foster has played in just 16 games since being drafted No. 31 overall in 2017. In 16 total games for the Niners, Foster has registered 101 tackles and two passes defensed.
April 30th, 2020 at 11:41am CST by Dallas Robinson
The Redskins will decline their 2021 fifth-year option on linebacker Reuben Foster, according to Les Carpenter of the Washington Post (Twitter link).
Washington’s decision isn’t much of a surprise, as there’s no clear indication that Foster will be able to play the 2020 season. Foster suffered a torn ACL, MCL, and LCL in his first practice as a Redskin in May 2019, and while he’s seen recent improvements, he’s also dealt with nerve damage, so his health status is up in the air.
Foster’s 2021 option would have been guaranteed for injury, meaning the Redskins wouldn’t have been able to cut him after the 2020 season if he was dealing with medical question marks. Clearly, Washington didn’t to take that risk.
One of the NFL’s most talented linebackers, Foster was cut by the 49ers in November 2018 following multiple arrests and domestic violence accusations. The Redskins surprisingly claimed him off waivers, and while he was initially placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, Foster was soon reinstated.
Reuben Foster is hoping to return to the field after suffering a torn ACL, LCL, and MCL. But, in addition to those injuries, the Redskins linebacker was also dealing with nerve damage that left him without feeling in his toes for the last several months, agent Malki Kawa tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. On the plus side – there have been signs of improvement.
“He’s got feeling in his toes, the underside of his foot, the side of his foot,” Kawa said. “The nerve is starting to fire again.”
Kawa is hopeful that Foster can participate in training camp this summer, but there’s no set timetable for his return. In the meantime, Foster is hoping that stem cell treatment and sessions in hyperbaric chambers will help him return to his old form. The road to recovery won’t be easy, but Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith also came back from the dreaded “drop foot,” so it wouldn’t be unprecedented.
“He’s regaining feeling and power,” said Kawa. “It shows the nerve is firing. When he moves his leg upward, he can feel around the ankle and the top part of the foot. That’s a new thing. The next 60 days are going to be big as far as getting back to normal.”
If the controversial linebacker can retake the field this year, it’ll be a major lift for the Redskins’ front seven under new head coach Ron Rivera.