Ex-49ers linebacker Reuben Foster still could face NFL suspension

Ex-49ers linebacker Reuben Foster still could face NFL suspension

ATLANTA -- Reuben Foster will not face any legal consequences from his November arrest at the 49ers’ team hotel in Tampa, Fla.

But NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the now-Washington linebacker still is subject to punishment from the league even after the Florida State Attorney’s office dropped a domestic violence charge against him on Jan. 3.

“We continue our investigation into that,” Goodell said Wednesday at the Super Bowl. “Whether the charges were dropped doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t violation of our personal conduct policy. Reuben and I have met before. We will talk again. But we’ll conclude that investigation, make a determination, and we’ll go from there.”

The NFL suspended Foster for two games at the beginning of the 2018 season for violations of the league’s policies on personal conduct of substances of abuse.

His suspension for personal conduct was from his no contest plea on the weapons charge, which was reduced to a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to two years probation, 232 hours of community service and $235 in fines. Foster’s violation of the league’s policy on substances of abuse stemmed from an offseason misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana in Alabama.

Foster, 24, was a first-round draft pick of the 49ers in 2017. But he appeared in just 17 games before the team released him following a string of off-field incidents, including three arrests.

Foster was arrested Nov. 24 at the 49ers' team hotel in Tampa after his ex-girlfriend accused him of swatting a phone out of her hand, pushing her in the chest and slapping her on the left side of her face with an open hand.

He remained at Hillsborough County jail overnight. The morning after his arrest, the 49ers announced they were releasing Foster -- just hours before the 49ers’ game against the Buccaneers.

”This wasn’t a comment on what happened there, because that would be mere speculation on our part,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said at the time. “It’s more of a comment on him not living up to what we had communicated, to the energy and the time that we invested into him.”

Washington claimed Foster off waivers and paid him $257,350 over the final five weeks of the season while he was placed on the commissioner exempt list, which prohibited him from practicing or attending games.

It was not the first alleged domestic violence incident involving Foster and the woman, Elissa Ennis. In February, she told officers 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.

Three months later, a Santa Clara County judge dismissed the domestic violence charges, 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 initial statements to investigators as revenge against Foster, who told her he wanted to break up with her.

49ers' Trent Taylor switches jersey number ahead of 2019 NFL season


49ers' Trent Taylor switches jersey number ahead of 2019 NFL season

Trent Taylor will sport a new look this season for the 49ers.

The wide receiver has switched his jersey to No. 15, he announced Thursday on his Instagram. 

Taylor had a strong rookie season in 2017 as the team's primarly slot receiver, catching 43 passes for 430 yards and two touchdowns. But after undergoing offseason back surgery, Taylor struggled last season with just 26 catches for 215 yards and one touchdown. Taylor wore No. 5 during his college career at Louisiana Tech.

He takes over the uniform number Pierre Garçon wore the past two seasons. The 49ers declined the option on Garçon’s contract this month, and he remains unsigned as a free agent.

Taylor previously wore No. 81. That likely means new 49ers receiver Jordan Matthews will take over the jersey number he wore during his first three NFL seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.

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Matthews had his best three seasons with the Eagles, with 225 receptions for 2,673 yards and 19 touchdowns while wearing No. 81.

He wore No. 87 in his one season with the Buffalo Bills in 2017, and No. 80 upon his return to Philadelphia last season. The 49ers have retired those numbers, forever belonging to Dwight Clark and Jerry Rice, respectively.

Watch 49ers WR Richie James work out with NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes

Watch 49ers WR Richie James work out with NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes

With quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo playing in only three games in 2018,  Richie James Jr. didn't have a great opportunity to showcase his skills during his rookie campaign.

But the 23-year-old showed off his ability to catch the deep ball Thursday when he was spotted working out with reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes.

James had a quiet rookie campaign, catching nine passes for 130 yards and a touchdown, while showcasing some promise as a return man.

[RELATED: John Lynch believes free agency work set 49ers up for 2019 NFL Draft]

The 49ers could use another weapon at wide receiver, so perhaps the Middle Tennessee State product could emerge as a deep threat for Jimmy G in 2019.

While we probably shouldn't read too much into a March workout video, it's hard to deny James looked good hauling in the effortless deep ball from Mahomes.