The 49ers announced the release of linebacker Reuben Foster on Sunday morning, just hours after he was arrested at the team hotel Saturday evening, amidst accusations of domestic violence. The accusations were the third domestic incident Foster has been involved in over the past 12 months. Foster had domestic violence charges dropped this summer after Foster’s longtime girlfriend recanted her story that Foster had struck her.
Saturday’s incident was just another in a longline of off-the-field issues that Foster has struggled with ever since coming out of college, and proved to be the final straw for the 49ers, who say Foster did not honer the agreement they had regarding his behavior following this summers’ incident.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network joined Murph & Mac on Monday morning, and had some harsh words for Foster, who will officially released by the team on Monday.
“It’s obviously bad, it’s all bad, and I think with Reuben Foster, he is for lack of a better term, a con artist,” Rapoport said. “It’s always what he’s been. I think he has spent a lot of time in his life convincing people that he’s good, he’s got it, and he’s under control. ‘What you thought you saw happen was a mistake, he’ll never do it again, and this is not the person he is.’ And he has become so good at it that I think he fooled a lot of people.
“It’s not just the 49ers. At Alabama he kind of did the same thing. Despite the fact the behavior has repeated itself, he still gets a lot of people to believe in him. It really is like getting conned.”
The 49ers were able to select Foster with the No. 31 overall pick in the 2017 draft largely due to off the field concerns. Foster was considered by many to be a top five overall talent, and the 49ers had Foster as the number three overall player on their big board. Foster didn’t help his reputation during the draft process, when he was kicked out of the NFL Scouting Combine following a heated argument with an employee.
“Obviously it’s bad,” Rapoport continued. “It’s a failed, wasted draft pick. It was something where I kind of believed Foster would — from what I knew, from the people I knew, from the stories I’ve gotten — I kind of believed also that Foster was turning the corner and headed in the right direction. It’s a complete failure and the only thing I can say is it’s good that the 49ers moved on as quickly as they did.”
Foster was a standout during his injury plagued rookie season, but seemed to have lost a step in 2018 as he recovered from a lingering shoulder issue. Despite playing in just 10 games, Foster’s 72 tackles were good for second-highest on the team in 2017. Foster had just 29 tackles in six games this season.
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Rapoport on Foster, start from the beginning.