Reuben Foster’s arrest Friday night on marijuana charges in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is likely to void $2.5 million in salary guarantees, according to a former NFL agent.
Joel Corry, appearing on the 49ers Insider Podcast, said there is language in Foster’s contract that voids the salary guarantees if he is fined under the NFL’s Policy on Substances of Abuse.
“Typically with veteran contracts, you must be suspended . . . in order to have contract guarantees void,” said Corry, whose work appears on CBS Sports. “What we’ve seen in rookie deals is they’ve extended that to getting fined, as well.”
According to a league source familiar with the 49ers’ structure on rookie contracts, the team’s standard practice is to void guarantees with fines. The 49ers were not harder on Foster because of a failed drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine due to a diluted sample.
Foster was released on $2,500 bond on Friday evening after being booked on second-degree marijuana possession, according to the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office.
Under the NFL’s Policy on Substances of Abuse, the first offense for a violation of Stage Two, if marijuana, includes a fine equivalent to the pay of two game checks.
In Foster’s original contract, his entire scheduled salaries of $875,708 in 2018 and $1.286 million in 2019 were fully guaranteed. In addition, $339,000 of his scheduled $1.697 salary in 2020 was guaranteed.
“What that means is,” Corry said, “he doesn’t get the money, no matter what, any more. But he can still make the same money that’s in the contract on a non-guaranteed basis, but you don’t have the same security as you did before.
“So if his rookie year turns out to be an anomaly or off-the-field issues end up being problematic, it gives the 49ers more latitude to either ask him a pay cut or to release him.”
Foster started all 10 games in which he appeared for the 49ers as a rookie. The first-round draft pick from Alabama recorded 72 tackles.