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49ers release Reuben Foster after domestic violence arrest



The 49ers released linebacker Reuben Foster Sunday morning after he was arrested for a first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence incident at the Grand Hyatt in Tampa Bay.

The incident, which took place around 9 p.m. local time Saturday night, involved Foster slapping Elissa Ennis — the same accuser of Foster’s previous domestic charge — in the face, according to the Tampa Bay Police Department’s report. Foster was arrested at 9:10 p.m. and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail at 11:11 p.m. He was granted $2,000 bail Sunday morning, hours before he was expected to be released from jail.

The second-year linebacker’s release, ahead of San Francisco’s matchup with the Buccaneers Sunday morning, culminates a year-and-a-half of character issues that spanned from prior to the 2017 NFL Draft to Sunday morning.

Back in May, a judge dropped charges accusing Foster of domestic violence, possession of an assault weapon, and criminal threats against Ennis, 28, his girlfriend at the time. Ennis had recanted her statements in an emotional testimony, claiming accusations against Foster were driven by money. She said she lied to “f*** up his career.”

Both 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch said Foster, and any other 49ers employee, would be released if found guilty of such acts.

Foster was suspended for the first two games of the 2018 season for a separate misdemeanor marijuana arrest in Alabama, along with the gun charge. He pleaded no contest to the charge in June. He was assigned 232 hours of community service and two years of probation that restricted him from possessing a gun or ammunition.

After winning the Butkus Award at Alabama during the 2016-17 season, Foster was projected as a top-10 pick. But he failed a drug test after submitting a diluted urine sample, and was later sent home from the 2017 NFL Combine after being involved in a fight with a hospital employee, causing his stock to fall.

The 49ers selected Foster with the No. 31 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. He shined in 10 games, ranking second on the 49ers with 72 tackles in his rookie year. He won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month award in November after compiling 30 tackles in three games.

Foster took a step back in his sophomore year, producing 29 tackles in six games.