On Monday, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan talked at length about the arrest and release of linebacker Reuben Foster.
San Francisco officially released Foster earlier that day after he was arrested on a domestic-violence battery charge Saturday night at the team’s hotel during an away game in Tampa. In addition to this weekend’s incident, a prior domestic violence report from October was also discovered.
Shanahan said the Niners were “absolutely not” aware of the Oct. 12 incident or report involving Foster that was made to the Santa Clara Police Department.
“The first time I heard about it was when someone told us when we landed after it was written in the paper,” Shanahan said, via ProFootballTalk. “Everyone in our building was the same on that.”
The Niners organization gave Foster another chance after his offseason domestic violence arrest. But, the team’s tolerance ran thin. Shanahan said Foster’s latest arrest makes it “very hard to trust” him again.
Foster’s previous domestic violence charges were dropped after his longtime girlfriend, Elissa Ennis, recanted her allegations that Foster struck her at his Los Gatos home on Feb. 11.
“We knew Reuben had a string of making bad decisions,” he added. “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 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.”
Shanahan, who is in his second season as the team’s head coach, said he tried calling Foster a couple of times Monday, but he has not yet returned the calls.
“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.”
This was Foster’s second year in San Francisco after being selected as the 31st overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.