49ers’ linebacker Reuben Foster blossomed into one of the NFL’s best young defensive players during his rookie season with San Francisco, but another off-the-field concern popped up for Foster as he was charged with second-degree possession of marijuana.
A second-degree charge is levied when a person possesses marijuana for their personal use. While that’s now legal in California, the state where Foster plays football, possessing marijuana remains a crime in Alabama.
The charge likely won’t cost Foster a massive fine from the NFL, but according to Joel Corry of CBS Sports, it has the potential to cost Foster money down the road. On Saturday, Corry reported that language in Foster’s rookie contract voids the guaranteed salary for the remainder of Foster’s deal if he’s fined under NFL drug policies.
The $2,501,124 of salary guarantees in Rueben Foster's 2018 to 2020 contract years are as good as gone. There's language in Foster's contract where a fine under NFL drug policies (provided it isn't vacated on appeal) voids the guarantees.
— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) January 13, 2018
If Foster plays out the remainder of his contract with the 49ers, he’ll still make the $2,501,124 he’s owed by San Francisco, but if injuries force Foster into a medical retirement or if the 49ers elect to cut Foster, he will lose out on the cash he was once guaranteed.
Foster battled a variety of injuries throughout his rookie season in San Francisco, including an ankle sprain and recurring shoulder stingers that were a red flag for some teams before last spring’s NFL Draft.