The ultimate fate of 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster, as it relates to his career or his freedom, remains to be seen. For now, though, he’s reportedly handling his second legal entanglement in less than a month by dealing with the situation.
Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports California reports that Foster is “cooperating fully” with the investigations being conducted by both the authorities and the NFL.
Foster also is cooperating with the team. Per Maiocco, the 31st pick in the 2017 draft has spoken “multiple times” both on the phone and in person with G.M. John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan.
The 49ers have limited options for dealing with Foster. If discipline will be imposed, it will be imposed by the NFL. The 49ers can either keep him and wait things out, or cut him and move on.
The draft capital used to acquire Foster, coupled with his solid performance as a rookie (when healthy), qualifies him for the kind of second chance that typically doesn’t go to a guy lurking at the bottom of the roster. But, as Maiocco explains it, the 49ers should enter the 2018 player-acquisition process by regarding Foster as a player “who can no longer be counted upon to be a long-term member of the organization.”
It would be interesting to know whether Maiocco came up with that observation on his own, or whether he heard it from someone with the team. Either way, a guy who looked to be a long-term cornerstone of the roster suddenly finds himself on shaky ground, following a weekend arrest for domestic violence.