Reuben Foster

Redskins’ Reuben Foster Has Charge Dropped

The misdemeanor charge of domestic battery for Redskins linebacker Reuben Foster has been dropped, as reported by TMZ. Foster remains on the league’s exempt list for the time being, but this could be a step towards an eventual return. 

Foster was arrested in November for allegedly roughing up his ex-girlfriend, Elissa Ennis, at the 49ers’ team hotel in the Tampa area. Ennis also accused Foster of abuse in February but later recanted her story. Shortly thereafter, he was waived by the 49ers and claimed by the Redskins. The move by Washington was widely panned, though the Redskins say they that he will not play for them if the latest round of accusations are shown to have merit.

The Redskins 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,” 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.

If the league does permit Foster to play again, the Redskins will have a difficult decision on their hands.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Beckham, Foster, Redskins, Jets

The Giants‘ opponent Sunday will be dealing with a greater volume of injury replacements, but the Big Apple’s NFC team will be missing its biggest star. Odell Beckham Jr. will not play in Week 14. The Giants ruled out Beckham for their Redskins rematch because of a bruised quadriceps. Although Beckham practiced this week on a limited basis, the Giants are sitting him for the first time this season. New York’s 4-8 record may well be contributing to the decision. This season has not gone well for Big Blue, but Beckham has enjoyed a productive slate after an ankle injury wiped out most of his 2017 season. He has five 100-plus-yard performances and exited Week 13 with 1,052 receiving yards, six receiving scores and two touchdown passes.

Here’s the latest from the Eastern divisions:

  • In addition to three 2018 arrests, Redskins linebacker Reuben Foster was briefly detained by Santa Clara, Calif., police this year, A.J. Perez of USA Today reports (on Twitter). In October, police were dispatched to Foster’s place of residence following a 911 call. A neighbor indicated he heard a “loud disturbance” from Foster’s residence. The woman whose domestic-abuse accusations led to two of Foster’s arrests this year, Elissa Ennis, was with the embattled defender at the time of the detainment, per the police report. Ennis told police Foster was her boyfriend and “nothing happened.” Ennis this week expressed shock the Redskins claimed Foster, whom Tampa police arrested last month for alleged domestic violence.
  • Darron Lee has not made the Jets‘ 2016 first-round investment look too good, and Rich Cimini of ESPN.com does not expect the team to pick up the inside linebacker’s fifth-year option (Twitter link). It would cost the Jets around $10MM to keep Lee under contract through the 2020 season, and Cimini believes it would be an ill-advised decision for Gang Green to exercise the now-suspended linebacker’s option. Lee’s played better this season but has been inconsistent throughout his career.
  • Washington may be planning to go with tackles Austin Howard and Ty Nsekhe at guard against the Giants, per Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington. Jay Gruden has this option at his incredibly depleted guard spot, or the fifth-year Redskins coach could deploy Luke Bowanko or Zac Kerin. Gruden indicated he may use a rotation. The NFC East leaders for most of this season, the Redskins lost Jonathan Cooper — also an in-season replacement — for the year and will be without Tony Bergstrom. Howard, Bowanko and Kerin were in-season pickups for a Redskins team that now has five offensive linemen on IR. Washington is 6-6 and on the verge of seeing this injury-plagued season veer off the playoff course.

West Notes: Hawks, 49ers, Broncos, Chiefs

Before he signed with a one-year, $8MM deal with the Vikings in March, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson received a $4-5MM offer to stay with the Seahawks, as he explained to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press (Twitter link). “The contract they offered me was terrible. It wasn’t what they told me when I left after the exit meetings,” Richardson said. “When my agent told me the offer, I told him, ‘They can keep that.’” Richardson has excelled for Minnesota this season: Pro Football Focus currently grades him as the league’s No. 36 interior defender, while Richardson is tied for sixth among defensive tackles with 14 quarterback hits. Given that he only inked a one-year pact, Richardson will be able to hit the free agent market again in 2019 at the age of 28.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • In her first comments to the media after Reuben Foster was arrested on domestic violence charges in Tampa last month, Foster’s ex-girlfriend Elissa Ennis indicated the 49ers attempted to intervene during Foster’s arrest. It’s unclear whether Ennis was referring to San Francisco staffers or other players, but the club has issued a statement nonetheless. “The 49ers fully cooperated with authorities, assisted in locating Mr. Foster and in no way impeded their investigation,” said the team. San Francisco, of course, immediately waived Foster following the arrest, but he was claimed by the Redskins. Tampa Police are still reviewing the case against Foster, but an arraignment is tentatively scheduled for January 3, tweets Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area.
  • The Broncos lost one of their most important offensive players in Emmanuel Sanders on Wednesday, but they did get a little lucky in acquiring fellow receiver Andre Holmes off waivers from the Bills, as Mike Klis of 9News explains (Twitter link). Sanders went down with a torn Achilles at 12:06 MT, and Denver’s doctors had diagnosed him 14 minutes later. When practice ended at 1:20, Broncos offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave relayed to the club’s personnel department that he had coached Holmes while the two were in Oakland. Five minutes before the waiver deadline, the Broncos put in a claim on Holmes.
  • Austin Reiter‘s two-year extension with the Chiefs has a maximum value of $5.5MM, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Reiter, a reserve offensive lineman, will receive a $1MM signing bonus that, as Joel Corry of CBSSports.com notes (via Twitter) will prorate over three seasons given that Reiter signed his new deal before the close of the 2018 campaign. Reiter, 27, was projected to become a restricted free agent next spring, but he’ll now get a little more financial security instead of a non-guaranteed RFA tag. He started four games at center for Kansas City earlier this year while Mitch Morse was injured.
  • Seahawks guard D.J. Fluker is expected to miss several weeks with a hamstring strain, head coach Pete Carroll told reporters, including Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link). Fluker, who inked a one-year, $1.5MM deal with Seattle this year, hasn’t played very well during his first season in the Pacific Northwest, as PFF grades him as a bottom-15 guard among 79 qualifiers. Former undrafted free agent Jordan Simmons will take over at right guard for the time being.

Latest On Reuben Foster

Reuben Foster‘s ex-girlfriend admitted that she falsely recanted her allegations of abuse earlier this year in an effort to protect the linebacker. In an interview with ABC, Elissa Ennis explained that she helped get the charges dropped against Foster in order to keep him out of prison and continue their relationship. 

Love will have you doing things that’s not in your best interests,” she said (via ESPN.com) “I did what I had to do for the person I love. I thought that he would change.”

Ennis also claims the 49ers tried to intervene during Foster’s arrest last month. When police arrived to the team hotel, she alleges that people from the 49ers told cops she was the same woman who previously recanted allegations against Foster. It’s not immediately clear whether Ennis is alleging interference from players or other team staffers.

During the interview, Foster’s ex-girlfriend described a pattern of abuse between her and Foster. On at least three different occasions, she says, she was punched and kicked by the former first round pick.

The 49ers released Foster soon after the November arrest and the Redskins claimed him off waivers. Foster was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list (paid suspension) while the legal process plays out, so he is unlikely to suit up for Washington this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Reuben Foster Will Not Appeal Commissioner’s Exempt List Designation

The league recently placed new Redskins linebacker Reuben Foster on the commissioner’s exempt list, and Foster has elected not to appeal that decision, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. That means that Foster will likely miss at least the rest of the 2018 campaign while the league investigates the incident at the 49ers’ team hotel last weekend that prompted San Francisco to cut ties with the 2017 first-rounder.

Schefter says that Washington is not surprised by the decision, and the club claimed Foster off of waivers last week with the belief that he could be a factor on its defensive unit next season, not this season. Of course, once the NFL concludes its investigation, Foster will almost certainly be suspended — and given the nature of the offense, he would face a minimum six-game ban — so it’s difficult to say when in 2019 the Redskins can expect Foster to suit up for a regular season game.

The Redskins were the only team to put a claim in on Foster, and they have been heavily criticized for the decision. But it is not just the media and fans who have expressed outrage. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that rival executives were shocked and dismayed that Washington claimed Foster, and La Canfora’s sources did not mince words. One GM said, “I wouldn’t even present [claiming Foster] to my owner. Maybe once we know the outcome of the investigation. Maybe as a free agent down the road once he’s cleared waivers. But I didn’t even think about claiming him. I couldn’t believe they did.”

Another high-ranking executive said, “What do they gain by doing this now? It reflects poorly on the entire league. It makes all of us look bad. They said in their own press release he might not ever play a snap for them. What’s the point? I’m kind of disgusted by it.”

In light of the strong outcry from executives around the club, any team interested in claiming the recently-waived Kareem Hunt may be having second thoughts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Patriots, Eagles, Redskins, Fins

While the Patriots haven’t historically paid up for free agent defensive lineman, Trey Flowers could be a special case, as Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets. For one, Flowers is highly respected within the New England locker room — Howe deems Flowers a “model human being” with zero off-field issues. Second, Flowers and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick share the same agent (Neil Conrich), which could theoretically help push negotiations along. Flowers, 25, is part of stacked 2019 free agent edge rusher class that also includes Jadeveon Clowney, Dee Ford, Frank Clark, and DeMarcus Lawrence. While he’s posted only 3.5 sacks, Flowers ranks sixth in the NFL with 31 quarterback pressures.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two East divisions:

Latest On Redskins, Reuben Foster

Redskins decision-makers were split over whether to claim Reuben Foster off waivers from the 49ers this week, according to Les Carpenter and Kareem Copeland of The Washington Post. The biggest proponent of the move was team president Bruce Allen, who “masterminded” the idea. 

Foster was arrested at the Niners’ team hotel on Saturday night, marking the second time this year that he has been accused of getting physical with girlfriend Elissa Ennis. Ennis recanted the first allegation, but she is cooperating with authorities this time around and her attorney says she will “participate in the [legal] process.”

The 2017 first-round pick is undeniably talented, but the Redskins’ decision to add him to the roster has been widely criticized. That may explain why Allen chose to have Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Williams quoted in the team’s press release rather than himself.

The Redskins fully understand the severity of the recent allegations made against Reuben,” Williams said in the statement. “If true, you can be sure these allegations are nothing our organization would ever condone.”

Shortly after claiming Foster, the Redskins announced that the linebacker will not play until his legal situation is resolved. They won’t have the opportunity to do that anyway – the NFL placed Foster on the commissioner’s exempt list, meaning that he cannot play or practice for the Redskins until the league office gives its blessing.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Places Reuben Foster On Commissioner’s Exempt List

The Redskins’ statement indicated they weren’t planning to play recently acquired linebacker Reuben Foster until his latest legal situation concludes, and now they would not have an option to do so.

The NFL will place the second-year defender on its commissioner’s exempt list, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). Foster will now be away from his new team — for on-field matters — while the league reviews his situation.

Foster will not count against the Redskins’ 53-man roster but will be paid. He has $257K in 2018 base salary remaining. Foster cannot practice with the Redskins while on this list, but with Washington’s permission, can attend meetings or rehab sessions.

Redskins running back Adrian Peterson spent most of the 2014 season on this list, as did Greg Hardy, who saw a domestic violence case pave his way out of football.

The 49ers cut Foster after he was arrested for alleged domestic violence, his third arrest of 2018, and the Redskins were the only team to place a waiver claim on him. He would have been eligible to play in Washington’s Week 13 game, although Redskins VP of player personnel Doug Williams said he wouldn’t have suited up, had the NFL not placed him on its exempt list.

This could end Foster’s season. It’s hard to imagine the legal process unfolding swiftly enough that the embattled linebacker will be able to return before Washington’s season concludes. This move will be for the future, but the Redskins are taking a major PR risk for a player who may never play for them. The team, though, took a chance on a talented defender that could be under rookie-contract control through the 2021 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Claim LB Reuben Foster

Reuben Foster will be headed to the Redskins, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The recently arrested linebacker made it to the middle of the waiver claim order before Washington swooped in.

Washington sits at 6-5, meaning at least 17 teams passed on adding the former 49ers linebacker. San Francisco waived its 2017 first-round pick after he was arrested for the third time this year. Washington was the only team to place a claim on Foster, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

This move is obviously controversial, given Foster’s arrest over the weekend. But the second-year ‘backer avoided trouble from his first two arrests — for marijuana possession (and a weapons charge) and alleged domestic violence — earlier this year. The repeat trouble Foster’s encountered, though, gave plenty of teams pause.

The initial domestic violence charge led to the alleged victim admitting to false allegations. The same woman, Elissa Ennis, was the alleged victim in Tampa, Fla., over the weekend, complicating matters for Foster, who faces legal action in Florida and another NFL ban.

The NFL suspended Foster for two games, despite the Alabama alum being cleared twice this offseason, and the league could intervene here. But for now, Foster is eligible to play in the Redskins’ Monday game against the Eagles. That would be an interesting look for the NFL, which has experienced trouble on the domestic violence front in recent years.

A Tampa Police statement indicated the 24-year-old Foster and Ennis have been involved in and on-and-off relationship for the past three years and that “Foster slapped [Ennis’] phone out of her hand, pushed her in the chest area, and slapped her with an open hand on the left side of her face. Officers observed a one-inch scratch on the victim’s left collarbone.”

Washington VP of player personnel Doug Williams addressed the Foster claim. The team does not plan on playing Foster until the legal process plays out.

The Redskins 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,” 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 Bergundy and Gold as a player. 

“That being said, we decided to investigate the situation with Reuben further by claiming his rights and after candid conversations with a number of his ex-Alabama teammates and current Redskins players who were overwhelmingly supportive of us taking this chance.”

Alabama products Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Ryan Anderson and Shaun Dion Hamilton are four of six former Foster-era Crimson Tide performers on the Redskins.

Dealing with a hamstring injury, Foster has not played since October. He suited up for six 49ers games this year, making 29 tackles. As a rookie, he was one of the NFL’s best linebackers but only dropped to No. 31 in the ’17 draft because of a polarizing off-field reputation.

Foster’s talent made the proposition he’d have another opportunity likely, but it happening so soon was a slight surprise. He has two years remaining on his rookie contract, with $257K remaining this season. A fifth-year option exists, meaning Foster could be under team control on this deal through 2021.

He’s also changed representation, with CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reporting (via Twitter) he’s now expected to sign with agent Charlie Fields.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Notes: Mullens, Foster, Shanahan

Despite an iffy performance on Sunday, the 49ers will move forward with Nick Mullens as their starting quarterback, head coach Kyle Shanahan says (Twitter link via Matt Barrows of The Athletic). Given the 49ers’ lack of other viable options, it’s not a huge surprise.

C.J. Beathard is the only other QB on the roster and he didn’t exactly inspire confidence in his five starts this year. Granted, neither player has set the world on fire. Beathard completed just 60.4% of his passes with eight touchdowns against seven interceptions while Mullens has completed 65.6% of his throws with five TDs and four picks. However, Mullens did have a strong outing in his first start against the Raiders a few weeks back.

Ultimately, both men are playing for an opportunity to stick with the Niners as Jimmy Garoppolo‘s backup in 2019. Mullens is signed through next year and Beathard is under contract through 2020, but Beathard can be cut with minimal fiscal penalty and there are zero guarantees remaining on Mullens’ pact.

Here’s more from San Francisco:

  • The latest allegations against Reuben Foster put a harsh spotlight on 49ers GM John Lynch, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports opines. The 49ers gave Foster a second chance after he was accused of domestic violence back in February. Then, on Saturday night, Foster allegedly struck girlfriend Elissa Ennis again, prompting the Niners to cut him. Robinson questions the team’s wisdom in drafting Foster in the first place given his red flags, giving him a second opportunity after the first DV arrest, and allowing Foster to be with his girlfriend in the team’s hotel.
  • Shanahan says he decided to release Foster immediately after hearing of the allegations over the weekend. “We’ll see what happens in the court of law,” Shanahan said (via Barrows). “I wasn’t there. But too many things have happened and we’ve tried to help him out a lot. I know he’s been trying, too, but this was a mess-up (so significant) that it doesn’t matter whether he did it or not. It’s time to move on.”