The San Francisco 49ers have a decision to make with regard to linebacker Reuben Foster and his future with the organization. Something could change once the Santa Clara DA’s office makes their decision on his domestic violence case, but otherwise, it sounds more and more like the 49ers have made their decision for the time being.
Much could change, but at this point, it seems like the 49ers are not planning on releasing Foster.
John Lynch has talked about the work Foster has done this offseason to get on track, and the work he has to continue to do. On Wednesday, 49ers CEO Jed York chatted with David Lombardi and Matt Maiocco about Foster and a host of other topics. York said Foster’s time could come to an end with the team, but it seemed to fall under things that might happen in the future, or if something unexpected emerges in his current case. But for the time being, it would seem like his two arrests this offseason will not result in Reuben Foster’s release.
49ers CEO Jed York on Reuben Foster’s future: "We’d love Reuben to be on this team. We’d love him to participate for us. But if he’s not doing things off the field that allow us to be able to rely on him… then you’re just going to have to move on.”— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) March 28, 2018
"I know Reuben is very cognizant of where his position is right now. His time with the 49ers can potentially be over if he continues to do things outside the team that aren’t what we want him to be a part of.” - Jed York— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) March 28, 2018
"Reuben is making those steps to understand what it means to be a pro football player and part of the 49ers, but he’s also cognizant that responsibility is on him and we're here to help in any way, shape, or form so he can be the right type of person for our team.” - Jed York— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) March 28, 2018
York talked about it being an every day situation with Foster, and with anybody else on the team, as quoted by Matt Maiocco. Tim Kawakami talked about this 11 days ago, and the point holds: barring some kind of unexpected issue arising in the DA’s legal process, Foster is not going anywhere at this point.
It remains to be seen if Foster has reached a zero tolerance level. I would not expect the team to speculate on hypotheticals, but I have to think they’ve at least considered the possibility of Foster being on his final strike. York and Lynch have both talked about situations varying based on the circumstances.
Foster still faces a potential suspension after the NFL completes their investigation. A domestic violence incident can net a six-game suspension, but there is also the issue of his arrest for marijuana possession. Even if the 49ers are comfortable retaining Foster, they have to factor in potential missed time. But for the time being, it seems a decent bet he remains on the team.