Reuben Foster

This Date In Transactions History: NFL Suspends Reuben Foster

With the draft and the first waves of NFL free agency in the rear view mirror, the days leading up to the 4th of July aren’t necessarily a hotbed of activity. However, the league office has been known to use these slow days as an ideal time to release word of suspensions for noteworthy players. 

That’s what the suits at 345 Park Ave. did on this date in 2018 when they banned 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster for the first two games of the regular season. The move, to put it mildly, was controversial – just a few weeks prior, Foster was facing jail time for accusations of domestic abuse against his former girlfriend. Had he been convicted, the club said that he would have been cut. But, after Foster avoided felony convictions, he kept his spot on the roster and the league determined that he would only miss contests against the Vikings and Lions before returning to the active roster on Sept. 17.

This was, admittedly, a tricky situation for the NFL. Initially, his on-and-off girlfriend testified that Foster had beaten her and thrown her down stairs. But, later, she claimed that she fabricated allegations against Foster and actually suffered her visible injuries during a fight with another woman.

Critics of the two-game ban were quick to compare Foster’s situation to the league’s handling of Ezekiel Elliott in 2017. Elliott was accused of multiple instances of domestic violence by a former partner, but was never criminally charged in connection to those events. After conducting their own investigation, the league moved to ban Elliott for six games.

Elliott fought his suspension, but Foster did not.

I accept the League’s decision and am sorry that my mistakes have hurt my team,” Foster said in a statement released by the Niners. “I have a responsibility to the 49ers, our fans and our community, and I am committed to learning from this situation and making better choices in the future. The support I have received over the last five months has been humbling, and I do not take it for granted.”

When Foster was accused of abusing Ennis yet again in November of 2018, the 49ers followed through on their promise to release him. The Redskins pounced, claiming him off waivers days later and expressing confidence that he would not receive another suspension. They were right – the league docked Foster two game checks for the 2019 season but declined to sideline him for any games.

On the same day as Foster’s ban, the league also rejected Julian Edelman‘s appeal and handed Packers running back Aaron Jones a two-game suspension for a substance abuse policy violation. With the statuses of Elliott (again) and Tyreek Hill up in the air, we could see a similar torrent of news today.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Redskins LB Reuben Foster

Reuben Foster is already on the recovery trail. Two weeks after being carted off of the Redskins’ practice field with an air cast on his left leg, the linebacker underwent successful surgery on Tuesday, reports NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter).

It was initially thought that Foster had suffered a torn ACL. That ended up being the case, but Rapoport notes that the 25-year-old also suffered a torn LCL. Fortunately, Foster is already raising his leg, and he’s expected to be fully recovered for the 2020 campaign. While the player’s outlook is promising, it’s obviously disappointing that Foster will be forced to sit out the entire 2019 season.

The 2017 first-round pick is one of the most talented linebackers in the NFL. However, he’s also one of the league’s most controversial players due to his off-the-field transgressions. The 49ers dropped him following two separate allegations of domestic violence, and the Redskins subsequently shocked many in the football world by claiming him off waivers.

The remaining guarantees in Foster’s contract have been voided due to those off-the-field issues, but the Redskins will be responsible for his salary since he’s sitting on the IR. The linebacker has one year remaining on his rookie contract, though the Redskins have a fifth-year option decision to make by May 2020.

The Redskins released Zach Brown this offseason, leaving them with mostly late-round picks at this position. Shaun Dion Hamilton (2018 sixth round), Josh Harvey-Clemons (2017 seventh round) and rookie fifth-round pick Cole Holcomb reside on Washington’s roster. The team also added veteran Jon Bostic last week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Place Reuben Foster On IR, Sign LB Jon Bostic

Reuben Foster‘s season is officially over. On Wednesday, the Redskins placed the linebacker on IR and filled his spot on the roster by adding Jon Bostic

Foster went down during the very first drill of OTAs and the seriousness of the injury was immediately apparent after medical staff placed an air cast on his knee. It’s a bad blow for the Redskins, who were left with only late-round picks at the position after the release of Zach Brown.

To help fill the void, the Redskins signed Bostic, who ranked as one of the best off-ball ‘backers left on the market. Bostic doesn’t offer the same upside as Foster, but he did start in 14 games for the Steelers in 2018 before falling out of favor down the stretch. Last year, Bostic tallied 73 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and three passes defended while earning average marks from Pro Football Focus.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Reuben Foster Believed To Have Torn ACL

The injury that saw Reuben Foster carted away from a Redskins workout Monday appears to indeed be serious. Foster is believed to have suffered a torn ACL, along with additional damage, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter).

This occurred on the first series of the first drill during Redskins OTAs, the Washington Post’s Kareem Copeland tweets. Foster was seen slamming the turf in agony and sobbing while being driven off of the field.

Foster will continue to see specialists in the near future, Rapoport adds, but this is expected to wipe out his 2019 season. The linebacker has one year remaining on his rookie contract, though the Redskins have a fifth-year option decision to make by May 2020.

Washington made a controversial waiver claim on Foster last season, after the 49ers cut him following another incident allegedly involving domestic violence. The Redskins were the only team to submit a claim. But Foster avoided another suspension and was likely set to be a starting inside linebacker in Washington. That future will be on hold after Monday’s injury.

The Redskins released Zach Brown this offseason and, behind Foster, have only late-round picks at this position. Shaun Dion Hamilton (2018 sixth round), Josh Harvey-Clemons (2017 seventh round) and rookie fifth-round pick Cole Holcomb reside on Washington’s roster. Foster’s setback may prompt the Redskins to gauge the free agent market for possible help alongside Mason Foster. Among the off-ball ‘backers available: Jon Bostic, Josh Bynes, Kelvin Sheppard and Kyle Emanuel.

Reuben Foster has already missed 16 games — due to either injury or suspension — in his first two seasons. By the time the 2019 campaign concludes, the former first-round pick will have missed 32 of a possible 48 regular-season games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins’ Reuben Foster Suffers Injury

Linebacker Reuben Foster was carted off of the Redskins’ practice field with an air cast on his left leg, as Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. Nothing is certain yet, but the air cast/cart combo suggests that this is a very serious injury and a likely season-ender. 

Foster was seen slamming the turf in agony and sobbing while being driven off of the field. The linebacker, who escaped suspension for his latest round of domestic violence accusations, is now unlikely to see the field in 2019 for his new team.

Foster, a 2017 first-round pick, is among the most talented linebackers in the NFL. He’s also one of the league’s most controversial players due to his off-the-field transgressions. Foster 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 the Redskins shocked many in the football world by claiming him off waivers.

The remaining guarantees in Foster’s contract have been voided due to his off-the-field transgressions, but the Redskins will be responsible for his salary if/when he is placed on IR.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Reuben Foster

On Friday, it was announced former 49ers and current Redskins linebacker Reuben Foster would not be suspended in connection with his recent domestic violence accusation. 

Foster has spoken multiple times and met with Roger Goodell, and the NFL has viewed the video from the hotel of the alleged incident, the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweets. The video was provided to the NFL by law enforcement and the NFL decided that the Personal Conduct Policy was not violated in the incident.

Following up the league’s statement, the former first-round pick issued his own statement through the team:

“I appreciate the support I have received from the league, my team, and my union to help me succeed,” Foster said in a statement from the team. “I want to thank Commissioner [Roger] Goodell for the time that he has spent with me and for his understanding of me as a person. I accept the NFL’s decision and want to say that I am truly sorry for my past actions and the people who may have been hurt by them. Going forward, I will follow the plan outlined for me and work hard to earn back the trust of my teammates, the NFL, NFL fans, and the community. I know that my success is all up to me, and I am committed to not letting you down.”

Redskins team president Bruce Allen also issued a statement, JP Finlay tweets:

“We have been very clear with Reuben that his past does not have to determine his future — but the responsibility is squarely on him to change.”

 

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

No Suspension For Redskins’ Reuben Foster

Redskins linebacker Reuben Foster will lose out on two game checks in 2019, but he will not be suspended in connection with his most recent round of domestic violence accusations, according to a league statement. The Redskins have expressed confidence that Foster would not be suspended into the 2019 season, but the news is still surprising for many. 

Today, the NFL notified Reuben Foster of the Washington Redskins that he will be fined two game checks following a review of recent incidents and an assessment of his adherence to obligations arising from previous violations of league policies,” the league said in a purposely-timed press release. “Following a thorough investigation, the evidence did not support a finding that Foster violated the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy in connection with the Tampa incident in November 2018. The NFL has returned Foster to the active roster from the Commissioner Exempt list. He may fully participate in all team activities.

Foster has acknowledged that he is responsible for his actions, and he has committed to a comprehensive accountabilIty plan developed by the league, the NFLPA, and the Washington Redskins to help him grow personally and avoid future misconduct. Foster was advised that any future incidents will likely result in more substantial discipline.”

Foster, unsurprisingly, will not appeal the decision (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter). Ultimately, it’s a solid outcome for the 2017 first-round pick, who is among the league’s most talented linebackers, but also one of the league’s most controversial players.

Foster 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. This time around, she is sticking to her story, but the Redskins claimed Foster days after the police report was filed.

At the time, the Redskins said Foster would not play if the latest round of accusations appeared to have merit. Months later, the Redskins pushed for Foster to take the field in Week 1.

The charges have been dropped, there are no complaints, so it’s time for him to play football,” president Bruce Allen said in March.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Prez: It’s Time For Foster To Play

The Redskins made waves last year when they claimed embattled linebacker Reuben Foster off waivers from the 49ers. Months later, team president Bruce Allen says he expects Foster to suit up early in the 2019 season without a suspension from the NFL. 

The charges have been dropped, there are no complaints, so it’s time for him to play football,” Allen said on Friday (via Les Carpenter of the Washington Post).

Foster, a 2017 first-round pick, is among the most talented linebackers in the NFL. He’s also one of the league’s most controversial players due to his off-the-field transgressions.

Foster 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. This time around, she is sticking to her story, but the Redskins claimed her days after the police report was filed. At the time, the Redskins said Foster would not play if the latest round of accusations appeared to have merit.

The NFL suspended Foster for the first two games of the 2018 season for violations of the league’s personal conduct policy, owing to the California arrest and a related weapons charge. The Redskins might feel that Foster is in the clear, but commissioner Roger Goodell says another suspension could be forthcoming.

Despite a potential ban, Foster is very much in the Redskins plans for 2019. When asked if Foster’s availability has been taken into account this offseason, Allen replied, “Oh, we consider him strongly.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Goodell, Hunt, Foster, Redskins, Kyler Murray, Whitehead

Commissioner Roger Goodell gave his annual press conference Wednesday, and was unsurprisingly asked about former Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt. Goodell said the investigation into the incident that led the Chiefs to cut Hunt “should conclude ‘soon’ and that he’ll go back on the exempt list whenever” he ends up signing with a team, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

As Rapsheet points out, Hunt is looking at a “likely suspension”, although it’s unclear what the length may be. We heard a couple of weeks ago that the investigation was likely to be over by March. Shortly before that, it was reported that the Bears had spoken to Hunt. Chicago seems like a strong possibility for Hunt, as Jordan Howard struggled heavily this year and it would reunite Hunt with his former offensive coordinator in Matt Nagy.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Speaking of possible suspensions, Goodell also weighed in on Reuben Foster‘s situation. In the same tweet, Rapoport wrote that Goodell said “just because his charge was dropped doesn’t mean he won’t be suspended.” Foster recently saw the charges dropped for his most recent arrest, but he’s apparently not out of the woods yet. Goodell also said that he plans to speak in person with Foster again before making a decision, according to Mark Maske of the Washington Post. Foster was claimed off waivers by the Redskins after the 49ers cut him late in the season, but he’s been on the exempt list ever since.
  • The Redskins recently promoted quarterbacks coach Kevin O’Connell to offensive coordinator, but that doesn’t mean head coach Jay Gruden is giving up play-calling duties. Redskins team president Bruce Allen said during a recent radio appearance that as of now the plan is still for Gruden to call the plays, according to John Keim of ESPN.com. Allen did leave the door open for things to change, and other sources told Keim that a change is still in play.
  • Despite declaring for the NFL draft, Kyler Murray is still very much undecided about whether he’ll play football or baseball, according to Rapoport (Twitter link). Rapoport notes in the video that Murray hasn’t yet hired an agent for football or committed to attending the combine next month, and says the A’s, the MLB team that holds Murray’s rights, are still negotiating to potentially sweeten his deal and convince him to play baseball. He’ll have to make a decision pretty soon, and we should know a lot more within the next few weeks.
  • Former Cowboys and Jets kick returner Lucky Whitehead was arrested in Virginia earlier this week and charged with driving under the influence, according to TMZ. Whitehead was released by the Cowboys in 2017 after a bizarre incident where it was wrongly reported that Whitehead had been arrested after someone had given his identity to police. He was claimed off waivers by the Jets, and spent the 2017 season with them. Cut this past August, he spent the entire 2018 season out of football. Now arrested for real, this won’t help his chances of getting back into the league.

Bruce Allen Does Not Expect Foster Ban

Bruce Allen and the Redskins took plenty of heat earlier this season when they were the only team to submit a claim for Reuben Foster, who was soon placed on the commissioner’s exempt list.

But months after the linebacker’s latest arrest, his playing future looks more promising than it did when the 49ers waived him. Foster saw another domestic violence charge dropped, and Allen now expects his controversial waiver claim to be cleared for Week 1.

The league is still finishing their investigation of it,” Allen said, via Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “I don’t know why we would expect a suspension, but we’ll let the league finish up.”

During the 2018 offseason, Foster was arrested twice — the latter for an alleged domestic assault — but ended up evading legal trouble in both cases. The NFL suspended Foster for two games. The league’s current investigation may be more complicated.

Elissa Ennis, Foster’s ex-girlfriend who was the alleged victim in multiple 2018 incidents, said in December she was not being truthful when she recanted her allegation of domestic abuse from Feb. 2018. Ennis said during the same interview she was stunned the Redskins claimed Foster, whom she claims struck her on three separate occasions. This came days after another arrest for alleged domestic violence, which prompted the 49ers to cut ties with Foster. Since Foster’s most recent suspension, a 911 call came because of what a neighbor described as a “loud disturbance” from Foster’s Santa Clara, Calif., home in October. Ennis was with Foster that night.

The Redskins’ statement said the team talked to Foster’s ex-Alabama teammates for character references, but multiple players soon said they were not asked about Foster. Allen now said that was by design.

Yeah, we do talk to our players quite a bit. We don’t want our players discussing what we discuss with them,” Allen said, via Phillips. “We’ve talked about players in this upcoming draft, and they won’t discuss it. We’ve talked to people at Alabama. We’ve talked to a number of people.

“Not going to get into what we investigated, but we felt comfortable that we knew the player and the person involved. Reuben has demonstrated since he’s been with us that he wants to play football, he wants to do things the right way, and he wants to be a valuable member not only of the Redskins on the field but off the field as well.”

Foster still resides on the exempt list. Two years remain on his rookie contract. Another ban, potentially lengthier than 2018’s, remains possible for the 24-year-old defender.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.