Reuben Foster's repeated arrests left 49ers with no choice but to cut him

Reuben Foster's repeated arrests left 49ers with no choice but to cut him

TAMPA, Fla. -- The 49ers gave Reuben Foster every chance. And he kept letting them down.

The organization that waited for due process to run its course with Foster’s domestic violence case in the offseason did not wait for the legal outcome this time.

On Sunday morning, the 49ers said they were cutting ties with Foster, just hours after he was taken into custody on another domestic violence charge at the team's hotel on the eve of the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The 49ers might have believed what would happen during the offseason -- after coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch declared they would not employ any player who hits a woman.

They seemed to have a good indication that Foster would be cleared. And their patience in letting the process run its course appeared to be the wise move.

And what they believe now, their actions showed Sunday, was they also know how this will turn out.

They might not know what will happen from a legal standpoint with Foster. But the 49ers have a good idea about Foster’s errors in judgment and his actions. It is a pattern that has repeated itself, and there is no reason to believe he has learned his lesson.

After Foster was cleared of two felony counts of domestic violence earlier this year, he reported back to the 49ers, acting and speaking like a changed man. He said he feared that he no longer would be able to play football. That thought scared him, he said. Foster said it made him appreciate football even more.

But Foster did not take the necessary steps of a man who prioritized football as No. 1.

Anyone in the Santa Clara courtroom during the preliminary hearing in May could tell Foster and his on-again-off-again girlfriend, Elissa Ennis, were not good for each other. It clearly was a combustible relationship.

Immediately following the incident in February in Los Gatos, Ennis told investigators that Foster hit her eight to 10 times in the head during a dispute in February in Los Gatos.

During the preliminary hearing, she recanted. She said she lied because she wanted to destroy Foster's career after he told her was breaking up with her. She even admitted on the witness stand of making false allegations of domestic violence against a previous boyfriend in 2011 after he broke up with her.

Only two people know what happened between Foster and Ennis on Saturday at the team hotel. But what the 49ers saw from Foster isn't in dispute.

Foster again showed poor judgment in meeting with Ennis on a business trip. That decision was the last Foster would make as a 49er.

The 49ers placed a lot of trust in Foster when other teams clearly were not as convinced before the 2017 NFL draft.

Lynch has said the 49ers rated Foster as the No. 3 prospect on their draft board. But Foster’s stock plummeted around the league because of concerns about his character and his shoulder.

The 49ers traded back into the end of the first round to select Foster with the 31st overall pick. They took a gamble. They made an investment in Foster, the player and the person.

But, finally, the 49ers realized this was one relationship that simply wasn't going to work out for the long term.

Matt Breida returns, creating logjam, dilemma at 49ers running back position

Matt Breida returns, creating logjam, dilemma at 49ers running back position

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Raheem Mostert became the third different 49ers running back to gain more than 100 yards in a game this season on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.

Now with Matt Breida able to participate in full practices after missing three games with an ankle sprain, coach Kyle Shanahan has a bit of a dilemma on his hands, beginning this week when the 49ers play the New Orleans Saints.

“We have to talk about it a lot,” Shanahan answered when asked about how he will determine playing time for his talented group of running backs.

Mostert is the hot back after rushing for 146 yards in the 49ers' 20-17 loss Sunday to the Ravens.

Breida is the team’s leading rusher.

And Tevin Coleman provides, perhaps, the best all-around combination of outside and inside running, as well route-running and pass-catching out of the backfield.

Breida, Coleman and Mostert have produced 100-yard rushing games this season.

And there’s also Jeff Wilson, who has produced four rushing touchdowns in a limited role and had a touchdown reception out of the backfield to help the 49ers pull off a recent last-minute win over the Arizona Cardinals.

“All of them, they have unique things that they do well, but all of them can do everything,” 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said. “I know that kind of sounds weird, but they can all catch, they can all run with the ball.

“You’ve got to pick your spots, and I think Kyle and the rest of the coaches do a great job of putting those guys in there and putting them in spots to be successful, really. And that’s what it really comes down to at the end of the day.”

[RELATED: 49ers' Fred Warner named NFC Defensive Player of the Month]

There are not enough running plays during the course of a game to take advantage of everyone’s skills, therefore Shanahan and running backs coach Bobby Turner must devise a plan and be ready to adjust during the course of a game.

“It’s very tough to use four backs,” Shanahan said. “It’s tough to use three backs. You can kind of go in and designate a certain role for them all, but very rarely do all of them get the work.

“We started with Tevin last week. Raheem had a few good runs, and we stuck with the hot hand. That’s why he got most of them. I’m sure if Tevin would have stayed in, he would have got a few going, too. But that’s just how it is when you have a bunch of good backs. It’s something we’re definitely not complaining about.”

Breida leads the 49ers with 542 yards rushing and a 5.0-yard average. Mostert has gained 539 yards rushing with a team-leading 5.9-yard average. Coleman has a team-best six touchdowns to go along with his 454 yards rushing on a 3.8 average. And Wilson has four touchdown runs and a 3.9 average on just 27 rushing attempts.

49ers' Fred Warner named NFC Defensive Player of Month for November

49ers' Fred Warner named NFC Defensive Player of Month for November

Since 49ers linebacker Kwon Alexander sustained a season-ending torn pectoral, middle linebacker Fred Warner has elevated his game to another level.

On Thursday, Warner was recognized as NFC Defensive Player of the Month.

In his four games in November, Warner registered 10 or more tackles in each game. He picked up three sacks, three passes defensed and forced two fumbles.

Warner, a second-year player from BYU, becomes the second consecutive 49ers player to win the award. Rookie defensive end Nick Bosa won the honor for October.

Warner played well Sunday in the 49ers’ 20-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens despite the significant challenge of trying to slow down quarterback Lamar Jackson and the top-ranked offense in the league.

“All the misdirection and everything they have, especially with the quarterback runs, can really lock a guy up,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “I thought he played as good as any of the linebackers that I’ve seen play them on tape and as it got going.

“They were good in the beginning, but they got better as the game went because the more you see that stuff, the more you get a feel for it. When you’ve got a guy like Fred, who’s very natural at things and football comes to him the right way, he just got better as the game went.”

[RELATED: Shanahan uses 'Karate Kid' analogy to describe Sherman's recovery]

Warner has taken on more responsibility since Alexander, a vocal leader on the defense, sustained his injury. Warner’s responsibilities include relaying the play call from defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to his teammates in the huddle.

“It was usually him calling the plays and Kwon being the energy guy,” Bosa said. “And now it’s him doing both. He calls the play. He gets us lined up. And he brings the energy, so he’s really important.”