Reuben Foster

Kyle Shanahan concerned about Reuben Foster's future


Kyle Shanahan concerned about Reuben Foster's future

INDIANAPOLIS – Coach Kyle Shanahan admitted he is concerned about the future of Reuben Foster after the linebacker was arrested twice shortly after his rookie season.

“Yeah, any time you’ve gotten in trouble, whether – we’re talking about a case and I’m not sure whether anything’s going to happen or not – but if any of that stuff does come out, you’re subject to being suspended from the league,” Shanahan said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Approximately a month after Foster was arrested in Alabama for possession of marijuana, he was arrested in Los Gatos on charges of domestic violence, threats and possession of an assault weapon.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office is reviewing Foster’s case to determine if there is enough evidence to file criminal charges. Foster is also subject to an NFL suspension under the league’s policies on personal conduct and substances of abuse.

“So any time that stuff starts happening, regardless of what they decide, that’s always a risk,” Shanahan said. “We’re well aware of that, and we have to take that into account. He has put us in a tough situation. Hopefully, it works out for all sides. But that is realistic. If I said it wasn’t, that wouldn’t be very smart of me."

Shanahan said he spoke to Foster this offseason about why these incidents have occurred in the offseason.

“Reuben was great for us when he was around and things have happened since he’s been gone, and those are things we have to address and things we need to make sure he learns how to do things the right way,” Shanahan said. “I want to help Reuben out, just like I want to help any of our players out. But it’s a two-way street, and they have to meet us there. And there comes a lot of responsibility with that.”

For first time since domestic violence arrest, Lynch addresses Foster situation


For first time since domestic violence arrest, Lynch addresses Foster situation

INDIANAPOLIS – General manager John Lynch said Wednesday the 49ers are not applying different standards to Reuben Foster.

Last offseason, the club released cornerback Tramaine Brock just hours after he was arrested for an alleged domestic violence incident.

Foster was arrested Feb. 12 in Los Gatos on charges of domestic violence, threats and possession of an assault weapon. He remains on the 49ers' roster.

Lynch declined to get into any specifics about what the club knows about the circumstances surrounding Foster’s arrest.

“We’ve made it a part of our core principles, our core values, that we’re going to be transparent,” Lynch said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “We feel like the fans deserve to know. We want them to know. With this, we’ve been a little quiet. And that’s for a reason. There are certain places I can’t and won’t go because we’re dealing with an ongoing legal matter. That’s in everyone’s best interest.”

Lynch said the 49ers were not more inclined to deal with Brock more harshly based on his playing status. The 49ers traded up to select Foster with the No. 31 overall pick in last year’s draft. Brock, a holdover from the previous regimes, was set to enter his eighth NFL season. Ultimately, Brock was not charged, due to insufficient evidence, and faced no NFL suspension.

“He was a starting cornerback for us,” Lynch said of Brock. “We didn’t take that lightly. Anybody who watched us play – I wouldn’t say a weakness -- but an area of concern for us was the cornerback position. And that had a large part to do with it.

“It was a decision we felt was best for everyone involved and we made it accordingly. Each situation is unique and different.”

When asked what can be read into the fact the 49ers dealt immediately with Brock and the club has not made a move with Foster, Lynch answered, “Because of the sensitive nature and it’s ongoing, I’m going to leave that alone. Read into what you might.”

Foster was considered a character risk a year ago after he admitted to a failed drug test and was sent home early from the combine after a non-physical altercation with a hospital worker as he awaited his physical.

“If you remember at this time last year, there was a lot of discussion about Reuben,” Lynch said. “One thing we knew was we were going to have to put great structure around him. One lesson I learned, it’s probably a lot easier to do that in the college environment than in the NFL. These guys have to be men. We take the approach that we’re going to equip them with every resource that we can.”

Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan have spoken to Foster multiple times this offseason. Foster was arrested a month earlier in Alabama for marijuana possession.

“We have talked with Reuben and the context in a broad sense of what we discussed with Reuben is just our expectations for him and our expectations for all our players,” Lynch said. “We have a high standard. We made that very clear with him. We remain in communication.”

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office has the case and is considering whether to pursue criminal charges against Foster. He could also be subject to NFL discipline.

Foster’s uncertainty is an area of concern for the 49ers, who must consider the possibility of adding a starter-caliber player at inside linebacker this offseason.

“You have to take those things into account on every situation,” Lynch said. “Everything in this league is fluid, so you have to be able to move quickly and kind of adjust philosophies. Yeah, that will be something that we have to take into account, whether it’s in free agency, re-signing our own guys or whether it be in the draft. That’s certainly something we’re aware of and are taking into account.”

49ers Mailbag: Next targets for contract extensions


49ers Mailbag: Next targets for contract extensions

In the past two weeks, the 49ers have signed Cassius Marsh, Jimmy Garoppolo and Daniel Kilgore to multi-year contract extensions.

We open this edition of 49ers Mailbag with a question about where the 49ers will go from here. The 49ers own sole negotiating rights with their own free agents until March 12, when the early negotiating period begins.

The list of 49ers scheduled for unrestricted free agents includes:
S Eric Reid
RB Carlos Hyde
DL Tank Carradine
DL Aaron Lynch
CB Dontae Johnson
LB Brock Coyle
OG Brandon Fusco
TE Logan Paulsen
DL Leger Douzable
OL Garry Gilliam

Here are some of the questions from readers on Facebook:

Who is the next FA to get re-signed? (Max Moorman)
The most-likely candidates for new contracts before the start of free agency could be inside linebacker Brock Coyle and defensive lineman Tank Carradine.

Coyle underwent shoulder surgery right after the season and faced a five-to-six month rehabilitation. In light of the uncertainty surrounding Reuben Foster, the only thing that would likely prevent the 49ers from pursuing a new contract with Coyle is if their medical staff is not optimistic about a full recovery.

Carradine proved to be a good fit for the 49ers’ 4-3 scheme on run downs. He believes he has more to offer as an inside pass rusher, but the 49ers did not have him on the field for any third-down play all season.

Other notable pending free agents, such as running back Carlos Hyde and safety Eric Reid, are expected to be available to other teams for the early negotiating period from March 12-14.

Under the right circumstances, the 49ers would like to bring back Hyde and Reid. But it seems unlikely the 49ers will blow them away with contract offers to prevent them from hitting the open market. The chances of them returning to the 49ers appears to be in direct correlation to how other teams value them as free agents.

There are a lot of fans so excited that they are talking about the Super Bowl next year. What are the expectations internally for next year? (Philip Malan)
The expectations internally are for the 49ers to continue to build their roster, strengthening positions of need, and put themselves in a position to compete for a spot in the playoffs.

But there are so many variables – namely, injuries – that it’s difficult to have a black-and-white goal and at the end of the season declare a season a success or a failure.

Coach Kyle Shanahan did his best last week to tamp down any expectations for the 2018 season.

“Obviously, we're more excited going into this year because we know our team and we've added guys and we've kind of built this the way that we've wanted to,” Shanahan said. “But by no means are we done or even close to done. We have to continue to get better every single day, and it'll start with free agency. That comes first, and then it'll be the draft and then it'll be working in phase one, two and three, all the way into OTAs, and then it'll start with training camp. There is no quick answer to anybody.

“This league is so balanced, so competitive, it is so hard to win in this league that you never go into a year saying, ‘All right, we're good, we're (going to be in the) playoffs.’ You have to earn everything you get, and if you think anything differently, you will be humbled and embarrassed very quickly in this league. That's why I'm ready to go to work.”

Is there is some sort of timeline for the Niners to decide on what to do with Reuben Foster? (Jeremy Denton)
In the past, when the 49ers have released a player due to off-field issues, they have done it immediately. The optics are that the 49ers did not find enough to convince them to immediately cut ties with Reuben Foster. He was arrested Sunday in Los Gatos on charges of domestic violence, threats and possession of an assault weapon.

The 49ers have only two decisions: Release Foster or keep him.

The collective bargaining agreement prevents the 49ers – or any other team – from doling out any punishment for actions that fall under the NFL’s policies on personal conduct or substances of abuse.

The normal course of events will have Fosber back in court for an arraignment on April 12, if the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office decides there is enough evidence to pursue charges. The 49ers’ offseason program is set to begin April 16.

In all likelihood, everyone should know a lot more about Foster's situation -- and his status with the 49ers -- at that time.