San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman defended his team’s decision to part ways with Reuben Foster after the linebacker was arrested on a domestic violence charge over the weekend.
“It’s what they had to do,” the 30-year-old Sherman said, via NBC Bay Area. “I think the organization has handled the situation as best they could. Obviously been patient and deliberate and understanding of who Reuben is and what kind of heart he has.
“But it’s a really compromising situation for the team, repeatedly. So, you understand the decision the organization has to make, after repeated offenses.”
Sherman stopped short of saying that the arrest contributed to his team’s play on Sunday, a 27-9 setback to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“You never want to make excuses like that,” Sherman said of the 49ers (2-9).
Foster was arrested on Saturday night on first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay.
The Sports Xchange confirmed through a custody report from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office that Foster was arrested at 9:10 p.m. Saturday and booked into Hillsborough County jail at 11:11 p.m. (ET). He was released on bail shortly after 6 a.m. Sunday.
“It’s extremely disappointing for me, for Kyle (Shanahan), for ownership, for everybody in here,” 49ers general manager John Lynch told reporters Sunday. “We care a lot about Reuben and I can tell you it’s a situation where we laid out some very specific ground rules for Reuben, as we do for all our players.”
Shanahan also expressed concern for Foster, but noted that the team comes first.
“I care about Reuben, but nobody is bigger than the team,” Shanahan said.
“Our No. 1 rule is you got to protect the team, and he has put us in a bad light too much. Hopefully this will fix him and he can be successful somewhere else.”
Foster was suspended by the NFL for two games at the start of the season following an arrest for misdemeanor marijuana possession in January in Tuscaloosa, Ala. During a Feb. 11 arrest he was charged with possession a loaded rifle, which was discovered on his bathroom floor. He pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor weapons charge and was ordered to perform 232 hours of community service.
One of the original red flags on Foster occurred during the NFL’s Indianapolis Draft combine in 2017. To that point, the All-American Alabama star was rated as the No. 1 inside linebacker and was listed as high as No. 7 overall by many, including NFLDraftScout.com.
Foster was asked to leave the combine after becoming loud and obnoxious with the medical staff while awaiting a drug test. Turns out he submitted a diluted urine sample and post-combine reports indicate he flunked the test. Due to the combination of his actions and the drug test, he was pushed down many draft lists — and off some.
On the day of the draft, Foster slipped through the first 30 picks. Later investigation revealed many teams were not only concerned about his actions and drug issue at the combine, but that his shoulder was worse than advertised following a surgery that was not openly announced.
However, on draft day, the 49ers traded with the Seahawks, acquiring Seattle’s pick at No. 31 overall to select Foster. In exchange, the ‘Hawks netted the 34th pick in the second round along with the Niners’ pick at No. 111 in the fourth.