San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch spoke to the media on Sunday before the team’s Week 12 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to discuss the team’s decision to release linebacker Reuben Foster. The release came a little under 12 hours after Foster was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.
Lynch talked about the decision as it related to standards the team had put in place for Foster. He explained that the decision was not a comment on whether or not Foster was guilty of domestic violence, but “not living up to what we had communicated.” A portion of the press conference is available in this video from Cam Inman.
“With the decision we made today, I can tell you it’s extremely disappointing for me, for Kyle, for ownership, for everybody in here because we care a lot about Reuben. And I can tell you that it was a situation where we laid out some very specific ground rules for Reuben as we do for all our players. We had a set of standards in place that the players were involved with in developing. In this situation it was communicated exceptionally clear, to the point of what we expected out of him. And unfortunately, what transpired yesterday, this isn’t a comment on what happened there, because that would be mere speculation on our part — it’s more of a comment on him not living up to what we had communicated. And to the energy, the time that we’ve invested into him.
”That doesn’t mean we don’t love him, we all do, we care about him, but we feel like it’s in the best interests of our organization to move on at this point, and that’s a very tough decision. I want to be clear, that this is an organizational decision. Kyle and I talked last night, brought it to ownership, and we’re in lock-step in the decision. It was not easy on anybody ...
“The really sad thing is had shown, of late in particular, he had taken some very positive steps in maturing in a really nice fashion. Unfortunately in life, there’s consequences for your actions, and when you show bad judgment, particularly after something’s been communicated very clearly what the expectations are, there are consequences. One lesson that I’ve learned being in this league over 30 years is that no one is bigger than the team. And that’s ultimately what this decision came down to for us.”
You can view more comments from Lynch in our 49ers media list on Twitter: