The Washington Redskins claim they “fully understand the severity” of the allegations facing linebacker Reuben Foster, although the team did not contact the Tampa Police Department for details about his latest arrest prior to claiming the 2017 first-round pick.
A source close to the matter told USA Today Sports that the Philadelphia Eagles — who are one game behind the 6-5 Redskins in the NFC East — were the only NFL team to reach out to police in Tampa for additional background on Foster’s misdemeanor domestic battery arrest on Saturday at the team’s hotel prior to playing the Buccaneers.
That apparent lack of due diligence runs counter to the statement released Tuesday by the team’s senior vice president of player personnel, Doug Williams, who said the team fully understood the “severity of the recent allegations” against Foster.
“If true, you can be sure these allegations are nothing our organization would ever condone,” the statement read. “Let me be clear, Reuben will have to go through numerous steps including the full legal process, an investigation and potential discipline from the NFL, as well as meetings with counselors associated with the team before he will ever have the opportunity to wear the Burgundy and Gold as a player.”
The Eagles ultimately decided against putting in a waiver claim for Foster and Washington was the only team to do so, ESPN reported.
Washington ultimately decided to claim Foster’s rights after “candid conversations” with several of his former teammates at Alabama who now play in Washington, as well as other Redskins who backed the move.
49ers' Reuben Foster arrested on domestic violence charge
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was arrested at the…
“Nothing is promised to Reuben, but we are hopeful being around so many of his former teammates and friends will eventually provide him with the best possible environment to succeed both personally and professionally,” Williams’ statement continued.
Foster, 24, was charged with one count of first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence after a woman, with whom he has been in an on-and-off relationship for three years, told police he slapped a phone out of her hand and pushed her in the chest. Foster also slapped the woman with an open hand on the left side of her face, she told police.
Foster’s accuser, Elissa Ennis, also claimed the Alabama native hit her at a home in California in February, but she later recanted the allegations, saying they were part of a “money scheme” to ruin him after he tried to end their relationship.
The San Francisco 49ers said Sunday they planned to release Foster after his latest arrest, which could lead to a violation of his parole, USA Today Sports reports.
“We are sad, though not surprised, and exploring the legal options,” Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement to the newspaper. “The cycle of domestic violence is frightening and frighteningly powerful. Every day, this office faces the challenges of keeping survivors safe and holding DV abusers criminally accountable. As we said when the judge dismissed the case against Mr. Foster: Our commitment to domestic violence survivors is unwavering.”
It remains unclear if or when Foster will take the field for Washington, as he’s been placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, meaning he’s unable to practice or play with the team as league officials investigate the latest allegations.