49ers

49ers trade with Seahawks, select ILB Foster No. 31 in 2017 NFL Draft

49ers trade with Seahawks, select ILB Foster No. 31 in 2017 NFL Draft

REUBEN FOSTER
Position: Linebacker
College: Alabama
Height: 6-0
Weight: 229 pounds
Selection: First round, No. 31 overall

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers jumped back into the first round to select Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster.

Foster, a tackling machine who was the winner of the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker, was selected at No. 31 overall after a trade with the Seattle Seahawks.

The 49ers traded the second pick of the second round (No. 34 overall) and a fourth-round pick at No. 111 to move up three spots to select Foster. The 49ers acquired the No. 111 pick earlier in the day in a trade back with the Chicago Bears.

Foster is expected to make an immediate impact for a team that ranked last in the league in total defense. He could line up next to NaVorro Bowman, who returned to the practice field this week during a minicamp after sustaining a torn Achilles early last season.

Foster visited the 49ers’ headquarters last month and made a strong impression.

“He came in, and we had a nice visit with him,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix.

Foster was a unanimous first-team All-American and All-SEC pick. But Foster has been the center of controversy since the end of the season. He was sent home from the NFL scouting combine after allegedly getting into a confrontation with a hospital worker in Indianapolis.

“I think that’s why you do those things,” Lynch said. “You try to gather information, and react and make decisions accordingly. And so that’s why these things are valuable.”

After the 49ers met with Foster, it was revealed he entered into the league’s program on substances of abuse due to a dilute urine sample.

“I’m trying to be the next Patrick Willis, the next great linebacker in the history,” Foster said on a conference call with Bay Area reporters shortly after he was selected.

Foster, who was expected to be a strong candidate to be selected in the top-10 of the draft, said he was surprised he was still be available after 30 picks in the draft.

“I’m just happy they believed in me and trusted in me to pick me and give me a chance,” Foster said. “I got to prove my passion for the sport. I got a chip on my shoulder. I got big things to prove.

“People think about the character off the field, and everything. I got to show them how serious I take my job.”

When asked to describe his game, Foster said, “Savage.”

He added, “If I didn’t have football, I’d have nothing but my family.”

Foster said he is 90-percent recovered from offseason shoulder surgery and he will be ready for the opening of training camp.

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

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USATSI

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

NEW YORK — The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed.

New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “spoke at length” to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” would not be playing.

Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs “believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It’s an important part of our policy and the game. It’s important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.”

Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn’t stand, Goodell said the owners didn’t discuss it.

“There was a fair amount of conversation and I think our clubs see it the same way. I can’t deal with hypotheticals,” Goodell said.

Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league.

“Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,” he said, adding the NFL is “not afraid of tough conversations.

“What we are trying to stay out of is politics.”

Goodell noted that only six or seven players are still kneeling or are involved in protests.

“We hope we will continue to work to put that at zero,” he said.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players’ platforms for speaking out on social issues.

“I understand the way they feel about these issues,” Goodell said Wednesday. “We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.”

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

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AP

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again criticizing the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the “NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem.”

He adds: “Total disrespect for our great country!”

Trump appeared to be responding to the NFL annual fall meeting on Tuesday. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues.

The topic of the national anthem was not discussed at length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said owners did not ask players to commit to standing during the anthem.

Trump has suggested the owners should “fire” any players who knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”