Saints talked to Reuben Foster’s girlfriend during draft

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Things worked out for the Saints because the guy they picked at the end of the first round turned out to be a good player. But as importantly for them, things worked out because they didn’t get a chance to take linebacker Reuben Foster.

Saints coach Sean Payton told Peter King of SI.com that he thought they’d have still taken tackle Ryan Ramczyk with the 32nd pick even if the 49ers hadn’t traded in front of them to take Foster 31st last year. But he admitted they were considering Foster, and were on the phone with his girlfriend during the draft.

Foster said after last year’s draft that the Saints were on the phone with him leading up to their pick, and indicated they wanted to take him. They also wanted to talk to his girlfriend, asking if she was going to be able to help Foster stay out of trouble.

This was part of our fact-finding late in the round,” Payton said. “I hadn’t had a chance to meet his girlfriend during the pre-draft process, and we were still in the process of deciding. I think we were going to take Ramczyk anyway, but I wanted to talk to her about Reuben.”

Foster won’t be participating in the 49ers offseason program, after he was charged with felony domestic violence. He’s accused of dragging her by the hair, punching her in the head a number of times and puncturing her eardrum. The team keeping him at arm’s length is a preemptive move, since the league hasn’t put him on the commissioner’s exempt list as they have done in similar cases.

So while the Saints can breathe a sigh of relief for avoiding that problem, Payton couldn’t get away from the human issues.

“It’s tragic, and it’s sad,” Payton said. “I just feel awful when those things happen.”

As it pertains to football, Ramczyk became part of a brilliant draft class along with cornerback Marshon Lattimore, safety Marcus Williams, and running back Alvin Kamara. But even though they liked Ramcyzk, a sturdy tackle from Wisconsin, it’s hard to ignore the idea that the 49ers did them an inadvertent favor.

7 responses to “Saints talked to Reuben Foster’s girlfriend during draft

  1. What would you expect him to say?

    I was not happy the Giants passed on Ramczyk for Engram and Engram is great. Payton would have drafted Engram over Foster too. If Foster had no issues, Payton wouldn’t have almost had a decision to make.

    Character issues eventually rear their ugly head. Just a matter of time and yet the talent makes some people blind.

  2. Okay the revisionism with the Saints is going to a whole ‘nother level. I’m a Saints’ fan, reading and following 15-30 minutes a day, but this is troubling and someone outside the complicit New Orleans media gang needs to call BS on Payton. When Gayle Benson with Lauscha et al won the power struggle over Rita Benson (out of her depth), she was completely trashed by New Orleans media after being hailed as an exceptional businesswoman for managing the Arena League team there. Love Payton the Head Coach, but Payton the GM, Personnel Man has been the Biggest Handicap to the Saints’ success.

  3. Yeah, the Saints were going to take him, but the 49ers took him first. You don’t call a guy and his girlfriend during the draft unless you had serious interest. I have no problem with coach handling the media a certain way. He doesn’t want to hurt his player’s feelings either. I think he was saying in a round about way that the Saints were going to grab him, or were very, very close to grabbing him, if 49ers didn’t. He is counting his proverbial blessings.

  4. that’s what smart teams do before the draft, talk to anyone to see what the guy is really like, unlike the over-rated Niners & their arrogant g.m. Lynch who thinks he is a genius but he is not.

  5. When a team has to ask a draft prospect’s girlfriend if she can keep him out of trouble that tells you what kind of person he is. If you even have to ask that question why even consider drafting him?

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