The 49ers officially released linebacker Reuben Foster on Monday, and 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan spent much of his press conference answering questions about the former first-round pick.
Shanahan said the team was “absolutely not” aware of an October incident or report involving Foster.
“The first time I heard about it was when someone told us when we landed after it was written in paper,” Shanahan said, via quotes distributed by the team. “Everyone in our building was the same on that. I was aware that Reuben had spoken with her and still talked to her at times. I knew that from just asking him personally. Like, ‘How are things in her life? Have you seen her in a while?’ But by no means did I think that they were ever living together or dating again.”
The 49ers decided to cut Foster after he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence Saturday night at the team hotel in Tampa. The San Francisco Chronicle later discovered the domestic violence report made to Santa Clara, California, police on Oct. 12.
“We knew Rueben had a string of making bad decisions,” Shanahan said. “We knew that when we took him. We thought he would improve, and we were going to do everything we could to help him, and Reuben did improve in some things. But, you know, for that to come up for what did happen last year or earlier in this year, and then for what happened Saturday with the same person at a team hotel, it’s just hard to comprehend how you could put yourself in that situation again. I’m not OK with that regardless. I don’t know exactly what happened. Obviously, any time you’re dealing with domestic violence or anything like that, when there is a victim in domestic violence, there’s not many things in this world more wrong than domestic violence and things like that.
“. . . I don’t know exactly what happened between Reuben and the accuser. But after this happened a second time with the same person in our hotel, I think that decision-making was enough for us to move on. Who knows what happened. Maybe people will find out. But that wasn’t why we made this decision.”
The 49ers gave Foster a second chance after Foster’s offseason domestic violence arrest. Foster, though, ran out of chances, with Shanahan saying Foster’s latest arrest makes it “very hard to trust” Foster again.
“I thought rock bottom was last time, and I thought it would be very simple that that would be his wakeup call,” Shanahan said, “and I think it was in a lot of areas, but to put yourself in the situation that he put himself in, whether it happened or not, if it happened it’s so easy, but if it didn’t, that still was too bad of a decision to make us comfortable with keeping that person in our organization. Hopefully this is rock bottom for him, and he can fix himself in all those ways and still find a way to go have success in his life or hopefully another team someday.”
Shanahan called Foster “a couple of times” Monday. Foster has not returned his call.