Redskins Claim Rights to Linebacker Reuben Foster Days After Domestic Violence Arrest

49ers released Foster Sunday following arrest Saturday

What to Know

  • Reuben Foster was arrested Saturday night for an incident at the 49ers hotel in Tampa.
  • The team released him before Sunday's game.
  • The Redskins claimed his rights, saying he must go through the full legal process and potential discipline from the NFL before playing.

Editor's Note: Prosecutors in Tampa, Florida, decided in January 2019 not to pursue a domestic violence charge against Foster. Go here for more information.

The Washington Redskins claimed the rights to linebacker Reuben Foster just two days after the San Francisco 49es released him following a domestic violence arrest.

Foster was arrested Saturday night for an incident at the team hotel in Tampa, the latest in a string of legal issues involving the linebacker. The 49ers cut Foster on Sunday morning before their game against the Buccaneers.

Reports emerged later Sunday that police had been called on Oct. 12 for another incident between Foster and the woman in Santa Clara.

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

The 49ers claimed they had a zero-tolerance policy this season with Foster, who also was arrested on a domestic violence charge last spring involving the woman. The Associated Press generally does not identify victims of alleged domestic violence. Coach Kyle Shanahan said he was not aware of the October incident before Foster was released.

“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,” Williams’ statement said.

There were red flags surrounding Foster leading up to the 2017 draft, including failing a drug test at the combine.

Though domestic violence charges were dropped against him last spring, Foster served a two-game suspension to begin this season for his arrest on a gun charge and for misdemeanor marijuana possession.

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

The team hopes support from those players and friends will benefit Foster. There are seven other former Alabam players on the team.

Foster is the latest player with off-field issues the Redskins have taken a chance on.

They signed linebacker Junior Galette in 2016 after the New Orleans Saints released him following a domestic violence arrest. The charge was later dismissed.

This past summer they signed running back Adrian Peterson, who in 2014 pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor reckless assault charge after being indicted for felony reckless or negligent injury to a child.

The Redskins were criticized for their treatment of women earlier this year after cheerleaders told The New York Times that team officials required them to escort sponsors to a nightclub in Costa Rica in 2013.

Members of the cheerleading squad said officials repeatedly crossed the line during a trip to the Central American country on a photo shoot. First, they took the cheerleaders' passports. Then, they told them they were required to be topless for a photo shoot as sponsors and FedEx Field suite holders, who all were men, watched. Then, some of the cheerleaders were told they had to be personal escorts to sponsors at a nightclub.

The Redskins responded that they would protect their cheerleaders and punish employees for any misconduct.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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