49ers are releasing Reuben Foster after domestic violence arrest

49ers are releasing Reuben Foster after domestic violence arrest

TAMPA, Fla. -- The 49ers on Sunday morning announced the team is releasing second-year linebacker Reuben Foster, just hours after his arrest at the team hotel on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence.

The 49ers stood behind Foster during his previous accusation of domestic violence, stemming from a February incident in Los Gatos, but the latest incident prompted the 49ers to announce they are parting ways with the former first-round draft pick, four hours before the team's scheduled kickoff against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan stated in April that any player who hits a woman would have no place on the 49ers.

On Saturday, Foster was arrested at 9:10 p.m. ET at the team hotel, and he was charged with one count of first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence. He was booked into Hillsborough County Jail at 11:11 p.m.

According to Greg Auman of The Athletic, Foster's bond has been set at $2,000, and a judge has ordered the linebacker to have no contact with the victim, who is 28-year-old Elissa Ennis, the same woman from the previous domestic violence case.

Tampa police said in a statement given to NBC Sports Bay Area that Foster, 24, and the woman, who wasn't identified at that time, previously lived together and were involved in an “on-again-off-again” relationship over the past three years.

Foster and Ennis were involved in a verbal altercation Saturday, according to police. Ennis said Foster slapped her phone out of her hand, pushed her in the chest and slapped her on the left side of her face with an open hand.

Officers observed a one-inch scratch on Ennis' left collarbone, according to the report. 

[RELATED: 49ers' decision to release Foster is swift, justified]

In February, Ennis told officers at the scene in Los Gatos that Foster struck her eight to 10 times in the head. He originally was charged with felonies for domestic violence, making criminal threats and weapons possession.

A Santa Clara County judge dismissed those charges on May 23, ruling the District Attorney’s office did not show sufficient evidence to proceed with the case. Ennis testified during the preliminary hearing that she lied during her statements to investigators as revenge against Foster, who told her he wanted to break up with her.

As for her motivation for accusing Foster, Ennis said on the witness stand, “I was going to f--- up his career.”

Two months later, after reporting to 49ers training camp, Foster described the entire episode as a “learning experience.”

“It made me appreciate football a lot better,” Foster said. “It was crazy, knowing that football can be gone. Being back on this field with my brothers and these coaches, man, is a blessing.”

The 49ers selected Foster in the first round of the 2017 draft with the No. 31 overall pick. He earned his degree in human environmental science from Alabama, where he won the 2016 Dick Butkus Award as college football’s best linebacker. Injuries limited Foster to nine games during his rookie season.

The NFL suspended Foster for the first two games of this season for violations of the league’s policies on personal conduct and substances of abuse, stemming from an offseason misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana in Alabama. The league did not punish him for the alleged domestic violence incident.

Foster's suspension for personal conduct was from his no contest plea to a weapons charge, which was reduced to a misdemeanor, related to the marijuana case. He was sentenced to two years' probation, 232 hours of community service and $235 in fines.

The two-game suspension without pay amounted to a $103,024 loss of Foster’s scheduled $875,708 salary.

Last week, Lynch told NBC Sports Bay Area that he believed Foster was on the right path. He missed the two games before the bye week with a hamstring injury.

“We’re really proud of some of the steps Reuben is making, just as far as growing up,” Lynch said during the bye week. “His diligence to his rehab has been extraordinary. I’m excited to see him come and play. He’s watching film. He’s doing all the things that pros do, and he’s really growing in that respect.”

Trent Williams chose 49ers partly due to Nick Bosa, defensive line

Trent Williams chose 49ers partly due to Nick Bosa, defensive line

The 49ers' defensive line is the strength of the team. Not just for the chaos it creates, but also for the players it helps attract.

Last season, San Francisco allowed the fewest passing yards per game (169.2) and tied for the fifth-most sacks (48) in the NFL. Anyone who watched the 49ers' defensive line quickly realized it was one of the elite units in the league.

That included new 49ers offensive tackle Trent Williams, who sat out all of last season amid a dispute with Washington. That gave Williams plenty of time to study up on the top D-lines in the league, which ultimately influenced which teams he would be open to joining. After so much time away from game action, he knew he needed to go up against the best of the best.

"Oh man, I'm looking forward to it," Williams told NFL Media's Ian Rapoport on the "RapSheet and Friends" podcast. "When I looked for a team to go to, I looked at the opposite side of the ball to see who can I sharpen my iron on every day in practice because when I get out there on the field, I can't come up with a rust excuse. All that to me doesn't exist. So, I would rather be rusty in practice and be able to sharpen my iron then than to try to do it Monday night with all the cameras on me. 

" ... The defense is probably the best in the league. When you think about defensive lines that get after the quarterback, I think anybody with a pulse is going to throw the 49ers' front out there within the first, second or third groups to mention. So, that in itself excites me as a competitor, because I know I can get some of the best work done during the week. On Sundays, you're not going to see too many guys better than that group. Especially not any individuals that much better than [Nick] Bosa. I think they just don't have that many guys in the league that are better than him. So, I think for me, it's going to do everything for me to get me back to where I know I can be at."

[RELATED: Williams explains why 49ers were his ideal trade option]

When the 49ers' top offensive and defensive units go up against each other in practice, the expectation is that Williams and Bosa will be matched up head-to-head. That should make for quite the individual battle, and likely will only serve to make each player better.

Given that one has made the Pro Bowl seven times and the other is the reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, that should be a terrifying thought for most other linemen in the league -- on both sides of the ball.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Eric Reid calls out 49ers' messaging on Black Lives Matter tweet

Eric Reid calls out 49ers' messaging on Black Lives Matter tweet

Eric Reid sent a strong statement to the 49ers tweeting "Black Lives Matter" and #BlackoutTuesday. The former 49ers safety responded with "I think you meant Blackball Tuesday" and called the organization hypocrites. 

Reid joined Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the playing of the national anthem as a form of a peaceful protest against racial and social injustices, including police brutality, throughout the 2016 season when both players were part of the 49ers. Kaepernick has not been signed by an NFL team since opting out of his 49ers contract ahead of the 2017 offseason.

General manager John Lynch admitted in May 2017 the 49ers told Kaepernick they would have released him if he didn't opt out of his contract.

The quarterback alleged NFL owners conspired to keep him out of the league because of his protest, but Kaepernick ultimately settled a collusion lawsuit with the NFL last year. Reid clearly agrees with Kaepernick's beliefs regarding the league "blackballing" him due to his protests. 

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

CEO Jed York announced Saturday night the 49ers will be donating $1 million to local and national organizations committed to social change. York exlained why Monday, and even said, "We need to continue work that Colin drew attention to four years ago in 2016, and we need to continue to let our players, first and foremost, know they have a voice to be able to speak out" in an interview with the NFL Network's Jim Trotter.

After former 49ers receiver Torrey Smith praised York Saturday, Reid, who was teammates with Smith on the Carolina Panthers in 2018, expressed he had very different opinions and experiences with York than Smith did. 

[RELATED: Jackson insists 'fake' NFL should apologize to Kaepernick]

Reid continued to kneel in 2017 with the 49ers and the team opted not to re-sign him in free agency. The Carolina Panthers signed him to a one-year contract on Sept. 27, 2018, weeks into the 2018 season. 

The former 49ers first-round draft pick recorded 130 tackles and four sacks last season with the Panthers. He signed a three-year contract extension with Carolina in February 2019 and was cut one year later in March 2020.