After their first year as a general manager-head coach duo, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan are doing everything they can to turn the San Francisco 49ers around in a hurry. Aside from a 0-9 start to the season, it’s been relatively smooth sailing for Lynch and Shanahan. That was until Reuben Foster, their rookie linebacker and defensive spark plug, was arrested on February 11 on allegations of domestic violence, reportedly for dragging his girlfriend during an argument.
Foster’s arrest suddenly steers the Lynch and Shanahan into unfamiliar waters and should they make the wrong decision regarding his punishment, Tim Kawakami of The Athletic told Gary & Larry on Tuesday afternoon that it could tarnish their glowing reputation.
“Now, if he gets processed on felony charges, Gary, and he’s found guilty I can’t imagine him being on this team,” Kawakami said. “If he’s on this team, they will get destroyed for it and they should get destroyed for it. They’re already walking that line by delaying it this long, but delay means they don’t know. Delay means they’re trying to figure out a way of keeping him on the team and maybe they will.”
Roughly a month earlier on January 12, Foster was arrested on charges of second-degree possession of marijuana while visiting Alabama.
“Well, we’re going to hear from Shanahan and Lynch in Indianapolis, I think, tomorrow they’re talking,” Kawakami said. “So, they’ll say something and I don’t think ‘no comment’ will be enough for them. Now, it might not be a lot more than that, but they will say something. They’re not going to absolutely refuse to address this situation.”
The Faithful will remember the fate of cornerback Tramaine Brock, who was released by the 49ers last April on similar domestic violence charges as Foster.
“They’ve never dealt with a high-profile player that they value as much as they value him,” Kawakami said. “They were talking about him being their Garoppolo of the defense. They literally almost said those words.”
To listen to the full interview check out the podcast below, and skip to 7:35 for Kawakami on Foster.