Matt Maiocco

49ers Mailbag: What's next for Reuben Foster after arrest?

reuben-ap.jpg
AP

49ers Mailbag: What's next for Reuben Foster after arrest?

What is going to happen to Reuben Foster? (John Riley)
It’s much too early to tell, but . . .

As an isolated incident, probably nothing of consequence would happen to Foster as a result of his arrest Friday night in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on a charge of second degree possession of marijuana.

However, there is a cumulative effect as it relates to the NFL’s Policy on Substances of Abuse.

He was presumably already in the NFL’s confidential program, based on his admission that he provided a diluted urine sample at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last year. The NFL views a diluted sample as a positive test.

Foster said he was sick before the combine – possibly from food poisoning. He had a difficult time keeping food down, he said, so in order to keep up his weight he drank a lot of water and Gatorade.

According to the NFL’s policy, the first discipline for Stage Two, if for marijuana, is a fine equivalent of two game checks. A second violation would require a minimum suspension of four regular and/or postseason games.

How do you view the relationship between Saleh and Norton Jr. (Ivan Paz Alonso)
Among the first calls Ken Norton Jr. received upon his firing as Raiders defensive coordinator came from 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, he said. The men worked together with the Seattle Seahawks. Norton was the linebackers coach, and Saleh was his assistant.

Norton said a big part of his focus will be working with and mentoring Foster. Norton had a positive influence on Bruce Irvin when they worked together with Seattle and Oakland. Part of Norton's job will be to provide Foster with another positive influences in his life.

Frank Gore. Retiring a Niner. They owe him. How do they make it work? (Lars Grelck)
You will not find anyone with the 49ers who has anything but glowing things to say about Frank Gore. However, it’s highly unlikely the 49ers would have interest in him as a player.

Coach Kyle Shanahan is looking for running backs who have more home-run-hitting potential. Gore is as steady as they come. But he turns 35 in May and he is not a good fit for what the 49ers are trying to build on offense.

But it seems obvious Gore is a strong candidate to retire with the 49ers – a sporting tradition that started with Roger Craig and the 49ers more than 20 years ago. A lot of the 49ers coaches and executives who were around when Gore played for the team are now gone.

But Gore has maintained a strong relationship with CEO Jed York. After the Indianapolis Colts played the 49ers last season, Gore sought out York and the men spoke outside the 49ers locker room.

Expect Gore to sign a ceremonial contract with the 49ers after he has played his final NFL game.

Do you think they will franchise tag Jimmy G or sign him to a long-term deal. If it’s a long-term deal, do you think they will make him the highest paid QB in the NFL? (Morgon Holden)
If the 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo do not reach a multi-year contract by March 6, the team will tag him as their franchise player. I believe there is confidence on both sides that a deal will be reached. With only seven starts in four seasons, I would not expect him to become the highest-paid quarterback in the league. But he will never had to worry about money for the remainder of his life.

The Niners have a lot of decisions to make at safety, who will they keep? (Johnny O'Dea)
The 49ers have intimated that they have no problem bringing back Jimmie Ward on his $8.5 million deal on the fifth-year option. We know Jaquiski Tartt and Adrian Colbert will definitely be back, with Tartt being a strong candidate for a contract extension this offseason. I think Eric Reid will hit the open market. If Reid does not attract a lot of attention in free agency, the 49ers would entertain the thought of bringing him back on a one-year deal. Competition in the offseason program will determine who starts in what spots, but they all can be expected to play significant roles.

What players put on IR early in the year could have big impact next season? (Stépheñ Bůrkę)
--Linebacker Malcolm Smith, who sustained a torn pectoral during training camp, is the big one. He is expected to start at weakside linebacker with Foster moving to middle linebacker. The 49ers’ coaching staff was devastated when it was discovered Smith was lost for the season before the season even began.

--Running back Joe Williams (ankle) has a chance in his second year. He is exactly what the 49ers’ coaching staff wants from a skill standpoint. He needs to put in the work in the offseason and hold onto the ball in order to take advantage of his "redshirt year."

--Guard Joshua Garnett did not impress the coaching staff in the offseason and training camp before he went on injured reserve with a knee injury to open the season. The 49ers asked him to put in the time and effort to reshape his body. He looks a lot better. Now, the question is whether he can fit Shanahan’s system. The 49ers are hopeful that Garnett will make a huge leap, but they are not counting on it.

--Defensive lineman Arik Armstead (broken hand) enters his fourth season. The 49ers must make the call on whether to pick up the fifth-year option (for the 2019 season). There is little financial risk for such a decision, but it remains uncertain if Armstead is a fit for Saleh’s scheme.

Reuben Foster arrested in Alabama

foster-ap.jpg
AP

Reuben Foster arrested in Alabama

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was arrested in Alabama on Friday night for second-degree marijuana possession, according to the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office arrest database. 

The 49ers released a statement at 9:30 p.m. Friday to address Foster's arrest:

“The San Francisco 49ers organization is aware of the matter involving Reuben Foster and we are currently gathering all relevant facts.”

Image credit: Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office

Foster was held on $2,500 bond, according to the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office database. The information was not available on the database at approximately 8:30 p.m. (PT), signifying he was out of bond, according to Lt. Andy Norris of the sheriff's office via communication on Twitter.

Second-degree marijuana possession is a Class A misdemeanor, defined as possession for personal use only under Alabama law. In Alabama, Class A misdemeanors carry no more than a year of jail time, and a fine of up to $6,000.

Foster played collegiately at Alabama, located in Tuscaloosa, where he was an All-American and winner of the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker.

The 49ers traded up to No. 31 overall to select Foster in the first round of the 2017 draft. He said he had a diluted urine sample during a test at the NFL Scouting Combine. He also got into an argument at the hospital with a worker while waiting for a physical and was sent home early from the combine.

After the 49ers selected him in the draft, Foster was asked if he thought there were concerns from NFL teams about off-field issues.

“Yeah, of course,” Foster said on April 27. “People were concerned about the diluted sample. People were concerned about me just getting kicked out of the combine.

“But they (the 49ers) gave me a chance. They gave me a chance, and I really appreciate the 49ers. I’m just ready to go hard and work hard and just prove that I’m worthy of that spot and they’re not going to regret it.”

A player’s standing within the NFL’s policy on substances of abuse is confidential. But a diluted sample is treated the same as a positive test. The first discipline for Stage Two, if for marijuana, is a fine equivalent of two game checks, according to the policy.

Foster started all 10 games in which he appeared as a rookie and recorded 72 tackles. Foster missed five games with a high-ankle sprain and one game with a ribs injury. He was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for November.

Beathard's lesson from Shanahan and Garoppolo after benching

jimmyg-ap.jpg
AP

Beathard's lesson from Shanahan and Garoppolo after benching

Rookie C.J. Beathard won the job as the 49ers’ backup quarterback to Brian Hoyer to open the season. And he finished as the No. 2 behind Jimmy Garoppolo.

In between, Beathard made five starts – complete with the requisite highs and lows – while learning Kyle Shanahan’s complex offense. He believes he is a much better player after gaining that experience.

“Those were really beneficial,” Beathard said at the conclusion of the season. “There’s nothing like getting ready and getting better by getting those actual reps. I think it was a huge to get those reps in game situations against some of the best players in the world.”

Beathard, 24, completed 54.9 percent of his pass attempts with four touchdowns and six interceptions. His passer rating was 69.2. He rushed for three touchdowns and was sacked 19 times.

“It’ll help tremendously,” Beathard said of his playing time. “At the end of the day, it’s my rookie year. I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better. I can’t imagine having been in this offense for two, three, four, five years and becoming a master of it, and knowing exactly what Kyle is thinking and be able to execute even better.”

Beathard took over for a struggling Hoyer in the sixth game of the season at Washington. He helped the 49ers to their first victory of the season, a 31-21 win over the New York Giants on Nov. 12.

He started three games after the 49ers acquired Garoppolo in the blockbuster trade with the New England Patriots before stepping aside. Beathard said he continued to prepare and learn even after he became Garoppolo’s backup.

“It was my rookie year, so I was learning a lot, taking it all in and soaking in every little bit of knowledge I could learn from Kyle, Jimmy, anybody," Beathard said. "Being in the NFL, you learn a lot getting those reps, valuable reps. I think I learned a lot and will continue to get better from that.”

Before the 49ers made the trade for Garoppolo it was assumed they would either make a play to acquire a veteran or invest a high draft pick to enact a long-term plan at quarterback.

Now, the 49ers have reason to head into the offseason feeling good about their quarterback situation. Beathard, whom the 49ers traded up to acquire late in the third round, said he believes he should benefit from a full offseason of work.

“Physically, there are certain things you can work on,” he said. “But it’s so engrained in your training that you’re really not going to change anybody’s mechanics at this point. But, definitely, there are some things footwork-wise that everyone can get better at and I’ll try to get better at this offseason.”