What will NFL do with Reuben Foster case?

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49ers linebacker Reuben Foster has found trouble twice in less than a month, with his latest arrest being the most problematic.

As explained by the San Francisco Chronicle, the Sunday morning incident arises from charges of domestic violence, threats, and possession of an assault weapon. The call came at roughly 9:15 a.m. local time, and Foster was released on $75,000 bail at 6:35 p.m.

The San Jose Mercury News, via the Chronicle, reports that the alleged victim has been in a “long-term relationship” with Foster, and that police found what appeared to be an assault rifle when they responded.

The 49ers have issued the perfunctory statement about being “aware of the report” and taking “matters of this nature seriously,” and “gathering all pertinent information.” More than three years after the Ray Rice case, it’s now abundantly clear that what the team says or does doesn’t matter nearly as much as what the league office says and does.

Paid leave is possible for Foster, but the league in past cases has not felt compelled to initiate this device at a time when there’s nothing from which to be on paid leave; the players are off until the start of the offseason program in April. An investigation will definitely happen, with the league making its own decisions about what did and didn’t occur, regardless of whether Foster is or isn’t ultimately deemed to be guilty of a crime.

The baseline punishment for a domestic violence is now six games, but it’s a sliding scale based on factors that the league may or may not ever publicly disclose (e.g., Josh Brown’s one-game suspension). Presumably, the league will figure out what it wants to do before the start of the 2018 season, imposing discipline that will be very difficult for Foster to challenge, as evidenced by both the Tom Brady and Ezekiel Elliott lawsuits.

So, to answer the question is the headline to this item — what will the NFL do? — is the same answer that applies to every other incident involving off-field misconduct by a player: Whatever it wants. In the aftermath of Elliott, it’s now more clear than ever that the league’s internal procedures may be delayed but will never be defeated, no matter how illogical, inconsistent, or patently unfair to the player they may be.

83 responses to “What will NFL do with Reuben Foster case?

  1. Hard to say what to do here without info, but hearing about an assault rifle and being jailed WITHOUT bond is like, uh not a good first glance.

  2. Charges of domestic violence, threats, and possession of an assault weapon
    those should start with a year suspension.

  3. Consider that Elliot’s accuser was found to have near zero credibility after the fact, how about everyone wait on a rush to judgment.

    Due process protects not just players on your favorite team, but you too — don’t be so quick to throw it aside.

  4. The assault weapon escalates this exponentially. Makes a dangerous situation potentially life threatening for both the victim and any responders.

    No reason why this guy should have that weapon.

  5. Q: What SHOULD the NFL do?
    A: Wait until law enforcement has gathered all the facts and make a careful, thoughtful, reasoned decision based on disciplinary guidelines the league itself has set.

    Q: What will the NFL do?
    A: Play cop, gather some info, ignore the part of it that does not fit their agenda and then make a crazy decision mostly based on gut feel that has no bearing on or relationship to any prior penalties.

  6. Foster has the advantage of living in the 9th circuit. If he challenges the NFL there, he may well win. When Maurice Clarrett challenged the NFL’s 3 years out of high school rule, he foolishly did it in the 2nd circuit. They deferred to the CBA and has become the NFL’s favorite place to try cases. If he’d let Mike Williams of USC take the lead and try the case in the 9th it probably would have turned out differently.That’s due to the Spencer Heywood case which remains a binding precedent in the 9th that players have rights that can’t be bargained away in a CBA. If Foster did what he’s accused of he’ll face punishment by the league but he can likely get a ruling requiring it not be arbitrary.

  7. They aren’t unfair; you just don’t like the outcomes. If you don’t want to live by your employer’s rules, don’t work for them. The courts seem to recognize that whether you like it or not, the CBA and the League’s powers that stem from it are real. Union signed it, players signed it. Now they have to live with it. And Goodell, while I think he makes some head scratching decisions almost daily, was very clear that stink of malfeasance will lead to suspensions.

    The guy was arrested for DV. That is an auto-suspension, and the league has been pretty consistent about that. Offseason makes it hard with the pay thing – you’re right. But it should trigger an automatic six pending investigation and/or outcome of trial. The current climate around this, while not always fair, is of less than zero tolerance. Foster needs an active suspension going into the league year.

  8. jimmysee says:
    February 12, 2018 at 7:34 am
    The assault weapon escalates this exponentially. Makes a dangerous situation potentially life threatening for both the victim and any responders.
    No reason why this guy should have that weapon

    ——————————————————————————————-
    A simple AR15 is not a assault rifle for one, and they are legal in America some states have restriction on the types of magazines. But what he was doing with it seem like the problem.

  9. The NFL isn’t the law; we should wait until the law rules. The NFL failed on the Ray Rice case because of public opinion, not the law. They DO have a right to instill punishments, but it should be, as demonstrated by the EE case, after all the facts have come out. As you pointed out, they’re not consistent, and they don’t divulge what drives their decision making. Other than internet videos and response.

  10. hence the reason this clown slipped to the end of the 1st round, but that’s ok because the Niners have Jesus Garappolo & they have nothing to worry about. Jimmy Jesus can do it all himself & the Niners will still win the Super Bowl according to all these off season NFL experts……..SMH!

  11. The 49ers should make it easy for the NFL… They should cut ties with him. I seriously doubt another team would touch him as it would be a pr nightmare for them. Pretty simple…

  12. The “assault weapon” label is just a scare term…It’s prolly an AR-15 which is the #1 gun sold in America…any sporting goods store has 100’s of em.

  13. They didn’t say he used the Assault rifle he just had one. Here is Texas just about everyone has one I know has one. But I guess California people don’t have the same rights they have in most other states.

  14. Just a question.. does any of you actually know what an assault weapon is? Because an AR15 is not an assault weapon..

  15. The current political climate is such that we can throw due process out the window. just look at Ezekiel Elliott’s case. He was accused, and a woman testified against him and the result is 4 games suspension even though no charges were filed. It is the same on Capital Hill, Al Franken was accused and he was forced to resign by members of his own party who convicted him based on accusations. Therefore I expect him to be suspended for at least 4 games in the upcoming season by the league, and perhaps more. That means the 9ers may need to draft a middle linebacker, and a good one, if they want to reach the playoffs. I don’t think the niners will cut him because they cut Tramaine Brock last season as soon as he was accused but he was later found to be innocent of those accusations.

  16. There’s a big difference here between the Elliott case and Foster. It’s been reported that Foster was arrested and had to post bail; Elliott never got arrested. So, Foster made his own case by getting arrested and that should make it an automatic 6 game suspension.

  17. My prediction is a year, considering the factors and priors. I also predict the idiot will end up in more trouble and never play in the NFL again. The guy obviously has a problem. He would be in prison already if he couldn’t play football.

  18. An assault weapon? I highly doubt that. Much more likely that it is simply a semi automatic rifle with some scary looking parts painted black.

    If it IS an assault weapon he would need to have been approved by the ATF to own title II weapons. Want to bet that he wasn’t and the gun isn’t?

  19. Cheater Goodell will likely do nothing especially if he receives the payoff from Jed York.

    Goodell loves his guest membership to August with Steve Bisciotti and he loves to cheat, so it just depends.

  20. Irish Hoodlum says:
    February 12, 2018 at 8:14 am
    I love all the Cowboy fans still crying about Zeke…… Eagles SB Champions
    ______________________________________________________________

    I love how teams like the Cowboys and the Penguins in hockey live rent free in the heads of Philadelphia fans. The Eagles win one Super Bowl in 85 years of existence and instead of celebrating that, they chant stuff about Dallas and Sidney Crosby at their parade. I guess when your teams are irrelevant for so long, it’s difficult to know how to act.

  21. I’m not sure why football players or anybody for that matter need to have assault rifles. When your a professional and emotions are running high you must walk away find something else to do. Some people go bowling…

  22. The sad reality is that, regardless of the circumstances they will throw the book at this kid. It won’t matter if he did or didn’t do it. He was accused, there’s enough circumstantial evidence that “something” happened for the NFL to use their classic “more likely than not” burden of proof.

    And he’s not playing for a team with an owner that has Roger Goodell in his pocket. He’ll get 6 games, with no chance of an appeal changing that.

  23. atthemurph says:
    February 12, 2018 at 8:43 am
    An assault weapon? I highly doubt that. Much more likely that it is simply a semi automatic rifle with some scary looking parts painted black.

    If it IS an assault weapon he would need to have been approved by the ATF to own title II weapons. Want to bet that he wasn’t and the gun isn’t?

    ———–

    first I 100% agree.

    However, since he was in cali the state officially defines an AR type rifle as an “assault weapon.”

    In CA you can not have an Ar that has a detachable magazine- and also ans a telescoping stock, flash suppressor, ETC.

    I bet he had a standard configuration M4.

  24. 1) Contact Ted Wells
    2) Indicate the conclusion you want in the end
    3) Let Ted “Investigate”
    4) Produce a report reaching your previously indicated conclusions
    5) Pay Ted $5M for his “report”

  25. Irish Hoodlum says:
    February 12, 2018 at 8:14 am
    I love all the Cowboy fans still crying about Zeke…… Eagles SB Champions

    **********************************************
    Awesome….the rest of the division had racked up 12 SB Championships before the Eagles were finally able to stop sucking long enough to put a good season together. Just a reminder, the Eagles are 2 behind Washington, 3 behind New York and 4 behind Dallas.

  26. bigroundglobes says:
    February 12, 2018 at 8:44 am
    There is no such thing as an assault rifle but what ever.
    **********************************

    You’re joking….right? What do you think the military use? A select fire rifle which becomes fully automatic is an assault rifle. They are not legal to own without ATF approval, but they do exist….they just are not AR-15’s like the media would like everyone to believe.

  27. Many issues at play here: the increased scrutiny of domestic violence issues by society since the Elliott case; the fact that a NY Giants player was initially given pretty much a free pass for his actions; the perceived inequality in the criminal justice system (and perhaps the NFL) and the corresponding protests by the players; the decreases ratings by a turned off public—the NFL is in a real mess

  28. Goodell really set a bad precedent with Elliot – 6 games for incidents which happened before he was drafted, and then the accuser was found to lack credibility. His own people recommended no punishment.

    Domestic violence is an extremely important issue and the NFL SHOULD take these things seriously, but Goodell seems unable to follow the current policies or take advice from those around him. Regardless of whatever facts are found (by the courts or the NFL’s own internal investigations) he reaches his own conclusions based on his own preconceived narrative.

    Every time he shoves a square peg into a round hole it makes it much more difficult for him to be consistent with future cases.

  29. sparky151 says:
    February 12, 2018 at 7:53 am
    Foster has the advantage of living in the 9th circuit. If he challenges the NFL there, he may well win. When Maurice Clarrett challenged the NFL’s 3 years out of high school rule, he foolishly did it in the 2nd circuit. They deferred to the CBA and has become the NFL’s favorite place to try cases. If he’d let Mike Williams of USC take the lead and try the case in the 9th it probably would have turned out differently.That’s due to the Spencer Heywood case which remains a binding precedent in the 9th that players have rights that can’t be bargained away in a CBA. If Foster did what he’s accused of he’ll face punishment by the league but he can likely get a ruling requiring it not be arbitrary.

    ——————————

    Only problem is he would never likely make it to the 9th Circuit. Elliot tried to get it out of the 2nd Circuit by filing his injunction in the 5th Circuit before the NFL had made its final decision, and the court ultimately ruled that he had to wait for a final decision before he could seek redress in a Circuit court. Because the NFL controls when it makes its decision, and they always immediately file for approval/confirmation of their decision in the 2nd Circuit, its basically impossible for a player to get into a different circuit court.

  30. Why does everyone keep crying about whether he is innocent or guilty? The PC policy of the NFL states multiple times that it doesn’t need to wait for that, nor does it state that it can’t tag the player for getting arrested and then for being guilty.

    The PC policy is about whether the actions of the player run against the good of the NFL. Whether Foster is guilty is innocent of guilty, he still managed to do something that got him arrested not once but twice in a month.

    That in and of itself will cost the NFL, the owners, and the other players money from fans that are upset about it. So again no matter innocence or guilty, his actions fall under the PC policy.

    It should be interesting to see what Goodell does.

  31. I was super disappointed the Lions passed on Foster in favor of Jarrad Davis. Everyone knew who the better LB was… BQ must have been worried about off field stuff. Hate to see the worries come to fruition but the Davis pick is looking way better now.

  32. I’m sure whatever the punishment will be, it will be grossly less than the penalties Josh Gordon occurred for his ILLNESS – drug addiction. In the NFL’s perverse personal conduct policy, domestic violence and rape first offenses are still less penalized than repeated drug offenses. This archaic approach needs to be addressed first and foremost at the Annual League Meeting this March. First offense for domestic violence or sexual assault (following league investigation and confirmation of said offense) should be one to two years. Second offense = lifetime ban.

  33. Sgt. Friday : The facts mam,just the facts. The first thing is to get the facts. The gun laws here are complicated and they now even have restrictions on purchasing ammunition,I don’t know what the new law is on that,just became law 1-1-2018.Most assault rifles you bring in that were totally fine in 49 other states are far from it in Kalifornia. They always arrest the man to defuse the situation,probably 6 games automatic,Lynch might release him,we will see.

  34. Man, somenof you readers….
    First, there IS an actaul definition of “Assault Rifle”, as defined in at least one DOD publication. I’m sure you all can look it up if you wish.

    There is NOT an actual definition of “assault weapon”. The terms assualt rifle and assault weapon are not, in any way whatsoever, interchangeable.

    Neither the article here on PFT nor the police report mentions assault rifle.
    I really don’t understand what it is that makes people interchange these two words.

  35. If that is actually an assault rifle according to California law, he can be charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor. If he’s convicted of the felony charge it’s sixteen months to three years in jail/prison and a $10k fine. If he’s charged with the misdemeanor it’s up to a year in jail. Since he has money and can afford a good lawyer I’m sure it’ll be a misdemeanor for him so he’ll get off with a slap on the wrist. There was no mention of the gun being part of the domestic violence charge. It’s possible she informed the police he had it and he must have let them search his place.

    The domestic violence charge is not good either. I wouldn’t be surprised if the NFL tried to give him six games for that and another two for the weapons charge. I do agree they should let the courts figure it out before any discipline is determined. Even if he gets away with the charges on a technicality the NFL could still suspend him under the conduct policy.

    The bottom line is if you don’t want to be suspended, don’t be a knucklehead.

  36. With these horrible charges and initial no bail status, I think a 2-year suspension or permanent removal from NFL

  37. Domestic violence is serious and if the charges prove to be true, he should be held accountable both by the law and the NFL.

    The assault weapon situation is less clear. The news reports claim that they found “what appeared to be an assault weapon” in his home. No report I’ve seen states the weapon was being used to threaten anyone. Many guns look like assault weapons. Based on the type of weapon and magazine capacity, this could be legal, even in the state of California.

  38. weeteblog says:
    February 12, 2018 at 9:51 am
    bigroundglobes says:
    February 12, 2018 at 8:44 am
    There is no such thing as an assault rifle but what ever.
    **********************************

    You’re joking….right? What do you think the military use? A select fire rifle which becomes fully automatic is an assault rifle. They are not legal to own without ATF approval, but they do exist….they just are not AR-15’s like the media would like everyone to believe.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Correct, but California makes up their own definition to basically include any weapon that “looks scary”. They ignored the selective fire part of the definition and, like the federal gov’t did years ago, basically described an AR-15 (actually banned it by name) and anything similar so they could ban as many as possible.

  39. This kid got caught with Weed in Alabama which is illegal there but legal where he currently lives in CA. Then he got caught with a AR-15 (probably without the bullet button) in CA were it is illegal when that would have been perfectly fine in Alabama. He just needs to learn what to leave in Alabama and what to keep in California….. Now the really issue, did he commit DV? Regardless he will be gone for the first 6 games at least.

  40. Guns and domestic violence is more akin to Good ol Greg Hardy. Whats he up to now?

    Greg Hardy was in North Carolina where gun laws are a bit more lax than California. The 49ers better gather all pertinent information in this case.

  41. mrex93 says:
    February 12, 2018 at 8:58 am
    Irish Hoodlum says:
    February 12, 2018 at 8:14 am
    I love all the Cowboy fans still crying about Zeke…… Eagles SB Champions
    ______________________________________________________________

    I love how teams like the Cowboys and the Penguins in hockey live rent free in the heads of Philadelphia fans. The Eagles win one Super Bowl in 85 years of existence and instead of celebrating that, they chant stuff about Dallas and Sidney Crosby at their parade. I guess when your teams are irrelevant for so long, it’s difficult to know how to act.

    ———————————————————–

    Don’t rile ’em up. They might go full “12’s” on us.

  42. Whatever it is, it will be the wrong thing, and then the next guy will have to take one in the keister due to Roger’s gross incompetence.

    At the minimum though, it should be a 6-game suspension, and then go from there.

  43. In cases of violence the league should ban the player, and give the team a pick in the same round said player was drafted. Shouldn’t punish the team for a player being a POS.

  44. afwhigs says:
    February 12, 2018 at 9:54 am
    Goodell really set a bad precedent with Elliot – 6 games for incidents which happened before he was drafted, and then the accuser was found to lack credibility. His own people recommended no punishment.

    Domestic violence is an extremely important issue and the NFL SHOULD take these things seriously, but Goodell seems unable to follow the current policies or take advice from those around him. Regardless of whatever facts are found (by the courts or the NFL’s own internal investigations) he reaches his own conclusions based on his own preconceived narrative.

    Every time he shoves a square peg into a round hole it makes it much more difficult for him to be consistent with future cases.

    *******************************************
    Actually, Elliott’s incident allegedly happened in July of 2016 after he was drafted and after he had signed his contract with the Cowboys….so he was subject to all the rules under the CBA.

  45. reddzen says:
    February 12, 2018 at 8:01 am
    They aren’t unfair; you just don’t like the outcomes. If you don’t want to live by your employer’s rules, don’t work for them. The courts seem to recognize that whether you like it or not, the CBA and the League’s powers that stem from it are real. Union signed it, players signed it. Now they have to live with it. And Goodell, while I think he makes some head scratching decisions almost daily, was very clear that stink of malfeasance will lead to suspensions.

    The guy was arrested for DV. That is an auto-suspension, and the league has been pretty consistent about that. Offseason makes it hard with the pay thing – you’re right. But it should trigger an automatic six pending investigation and/or outcome of trial. The current climate around this, while not always fair, is of less than zero tolerance. Foster needs an active suspension going into the league year.

    ———————
    Foster does not work for the league so the dynamic is a little different from what you are thinking. But the CBA seems to apply over any arguments about labor laws anyhow so whatever.

  46. Grulks says:
    February 12, 2018 at 10:43 am
    Man, somenof you readers….
    First, there IS an actaul definition of “Assault Rifle”, as defined in at least one DOD publication. I’m sure you all can look it up if you wish.

    There is NOT an actual definition of “assault weapon”. The terms assualt rifle and assault weapon are not, in any way whatsoever, interchangeable.

    Neither the article here on PFT nor the police report mentions assault rifle.
    I really don’t understand what it is that makes people interchange these two words.

    —————————
    Right now we have a lot of suppositions and very little facts so its way to early to start the hair splitting. And personally, when it does start I plan to let others handle it.

  47. Another kneeler, who would’ve guessed? The Bennett brothers showed their true character, now Foster did. One thing for sure, this can’t be their fault.

  48. beachsidejames says:
    February 12, 2018 at 9:06 am
    I’m not sure why football players or anybody for that matter need to have assault rifles. When your a professional and emotions are running high you must walk away find something else to do. Some people go bowling…

    ******************************************
    Well, now we have a problem…..what is an assault rifle? What California considers and assault rife, thus illegal….may not be considered an assault rifle and perfectly legal everywhere else. If we are talking about a simple AR15, then you and California are wrong.

  49. If he does nothing he will get a 6 game suspension, if he smashes his phone it will get reduced to a 4 game suspension.

  50. In cases of violence the league should ban the player, and give the team a pick in the same round said player was drafted. Shouldn’t punish the team for a player being a POS.
    The team as you say should have done their homework…now you want them to get another try with the same position pick…having their history of DV against their players it wouldn’t make any difference…nice try…

  51. I am a 49ers fan and a big Reuben Foster fan. I was hard on Ezekiel Elliot and my feelings have not changed. 2 arrests this offseason and 3 charges should lead to a 6 game suspension. I have no problem with the league being hard on him. You should never be in a situation where someone is calling the police on you due to DV. I hope he wakes up and sees the opportunity that he is presented with.

  52. 8 games. and make no mistake: if this was not a starter and a former first round pick, he would be gone.

  53. walker1191
    Should I call a wambulance for you?

    The guy was arrested for Domestic violence with an assault rifle involved.
    Let’s not get all in on the “She’s a money grabbing liar” routine.

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