49ers

With the prosecution's case weakening, 49ers and Foster close to getting what they desire

With the prosecution's case weakening, 49ers and Foster close to getting what they desire

The prosecution’s case in the Reuben Foster domestic violence hearing seemingly continues to weaken, and now the judge will decide whether there is enough usable evidence to continue the trial at all.

With a recantation under oath by the alleged victim, Elissa Ennis, and a claim that she had made a false accusation of battery against a former boyfriend in Louisiana that has not yet been confirmed, she seems at first and second glance like a perfectly dreadful prosecution witness. Indeed, her testimony at Thursday’s preliminary hearing was harmful mostly to her, and that this case may be reduced to that old Law & Order line of questioning, “Were you lying then, or are you lying now?”

None of this, of course, is the same as proving that Foster, the 49ers’ promising linebacker, did not lay hands on Ennis in the manner she claimed back in February. It does seem to indicate, though, that the Santa Clara County district attorney either has to hope the evidence gathered at the hospital of the beating she originally claimed was delivered by Foster does not match her claim that she incurred the injuries in a fight with another woman, or that the judge, Nora Klippen, determines that the prosecution cannot clear the reasonable doubt hurdle.

And the same bar almost surely allows him to continue his career with the San Francisco football team, as the team has desired all along. General manager John Lynch has maintained that (a) they believe Foster’s denials and (b) he would have to be found to have beaten her to lose his job, which presumably means only a conviction would satisfy them.

[RELATED: After hours of emotional and conflicting testimony, ruling on Reuben Foster to come May 23]

This would seem to fall under the old talent/tolerance scale for legal transgressions by sports and entertainment figures – that if one is talented enough, tolerance will follow. The 49ers’ official stance on domestic violence incidents has been, to put it politely, exceedingly flexible, but unless the prosecution can somehow rehabilitate their chief witness’ credibility against her will, their decision to defer action has probably helped both them and Foster in their main goal – keeping him employed by them.

Klippen is expected to rule next Wednesday on a motion to dismiss the case, and she may determine that Ennis' recantation Thursday was less believable than her original claims. There is a history in domestic violence cases of genuine victims walking back their stories out of fear, so this likely will not have a clean ending either way.

But we should learn this coming Wednesday whether it has a clean enough ending. The evidence will have to overcome a high bar though – the victim’s insistence that Elissa Ennis was indeed lying then and telling the truth now, rather than the other way around.

T.O. negotiating football comeback with CFL team

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AP

T.O. negotiating football comeback with CFL team

In 2010, former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens played the last NFL down of his 15-year career. Eight years later, and weeks before a Pro Football Hall of Fame induction he won't attend, the 44-year-old is planning to return to the pro ranks, wherever that may be.

Canada-based agent Jason Staroszik told TSN and ESPN that Owens "100 percent" wants to play football again, and is willing to play in Canada in order to do so. 

To that end, Owens activated a 10-day negotiating window with the CFL's Edmonton Eskimos over the weekend, as Canadian football news site 3 Down Nation first reported on Monday and ESPN confirmed on Tuesday. That window closes on July 24, and Edmonton will relinquish his rights if they do not offer Owens a contract. 

The Eskimos can retain his rights into 2019 with any offer, including one for the minimum salary of $54,000. Staroszik told ESPN that Owens is unlikely to accept a minimum contract.

Edmonton added Owens to their reserve list in June, one day after Owens posted on Instagram that he was clocked running a 40-yard dash at 4.44 and 4.43 seconds, by two separate stopwatches. 

Owens last tried a pro football comeback in 2012. He played with the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League, and then was cut by the Seattle Seahawks in training camp that summer after catching two passes in two preseason games. 

Report: Brandin Cooks agrees to five-year extension with Rams

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USATSI

Report: Brandin Cooks agrees to five-year extension with Rams

In early April, the Rams acquired Brandin Cooks in a trade with the Patriots.

On Tuesday, the team and wide receiver agreed to a five-year extension, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The deal is reportedly worth $80 million, but the guaranteed money is unknown at this point.

Last year with New England, Cooks registered 65 catches for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns.

The Oregon State product entered the NFL in 2014 as the 20th overall pick.

The 49ers host Cooks and the Rams on Oct. 21 and play their regular season finale in Los Angeles on Dec. 30.