49ers’ Jed York addresses Reuben Foster status
San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York couched his support of linebacker Reuben Foster with a “but if” during an interview Wednesday at the NFL owners meeting in Orlando, Fla.
Foster’s status with the 49ers remains in good standing pending the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office ultimate view of a Feb. 11 arrest, which occurred in Los Gatos for alleged domestic violence, making threats and possessing an assault weapon.
“We’d love Reuben to be on this team, and we’d love him to participate for us,” York told NBC Sports Bay Area. “But if he’s not doing things off the field that allow us to be able to rely on him — or he’s doing something that we’re not comfortable with off the field and it’s proven that’s what’s going on — I think the guys have said then you’re just going to have to move on.”
Aside from releasing Foster, any potential discipline would have to come from the NFL, which is conducting its own investigation into Foster, who also was arrested in January for marijuana possession in Alabama.
Foster, whether charged or not, could face a league-mandated, six-game suspension because of the domestic-violence arrest. The Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott served that time last season despite not being charged. However, former 49ers cornerback Tremaine Brock was never charged or suspended following a domestic-violence arrest last year that prompted the 49ers to release him.
York said he’d potentially intervene in Foster’s status if he’s not comfortable with how coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch are handling it, although that doesn’t seem to be the case.
“From my conversations with John and Kyle, I know Reuben is very cognizant of where his position is right now, and his time with the 49ers could potentially be over if he continues to do things outside of the team that aren’t what we want him to be a part of,” York said.
The 49ers are waiting to see what Santa Clara County prosecutors decide on Foster’s case. Players report back for the team’s voluntary offseason program April 16.
“Everything has to be case-by-case because no incident is the same and no situation is the same,” York added. “I think we have certainly made mistakes in the past because we’ve been too lenient.”