Linebacker Reuben Foster, cleared of charges that could have ended his time with the 49ers after one season, is scheduled to be back at work at the team’s Santa Clara practice facility on Thursday.
Foster has not taken part in the 49ers’ offseason program, which opened on April 16. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office filed two felony domestic violence charges against Foster on April 12 – charges the 49ers labeled as “disturbing.”
Judge Nona L. Klippen announced on Wednesday she found no merit in the accusations. During testimony last week, the woman who initially made the claims said she lied about Foster’s actions during the alleged incident on Feb. 11 in Los Gatos for her own financial gain and to ruin Foster’s career. She recanted her statements to police two days later, but the DA's office pressed forward with the charges.
The felony domestic violence charges against Foster were dropped, and a felony charge of possession of an assault weapon was reduced to a misdemeanor on Wednesday.
Tackle Joe Staley, the longest-tenured 49ers player, said he has seen Foster this offseason and looks forward to one of the team’s top young players rejoining his teammates.
“Just real excited about that, the news,” Staley said Wednesday night at the 49ers' State of the Franchise event in San Jose. “Obviously, that’s real positive. So (I’m) excited to see him come back whenever he comes back to the building, and give him a hug and move forward.”
Reference to Foster's victory in court from a team employee was greeted with enthusiastic cheers among many of the approximate 1,100 attendees at the event.
Six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley reportedly is receiving a raise of nearly $6.5 million over the final two years of his contract.
Staley and the 49ers agreed to terms on a reworked contrac as the team reconvened for the beginning of the official offseason program. A league source told NBC Sports Bay Area that no years were added to Staley's contract, which was set to expire following the 2019 season.
He was scheduled to make $11 million in salary and bonuses over the next two seasons ($5.5 million both years). He will now make a total of $17.4 million, including a raise to $8.72 million in 2018, the NFL Network reported.
Staley, 33, is set to enter his 12th NFL season after the 49ers selected him in the first round of the 2007 draft.
Earlier this offseason, coach Kyle Shanahan spoke about the importance of using some of the club’s salary-cap surplus to reward a player who has out-performed his contract. The 49ers had $46.596 million in cap space before the new contract, according to the NFL Players Association.
“We want to help out Joe and do the right thing for him,” Shanahan said.
“You also have to do what’s right for the organization. You want to do what’s right for all of your players, especially the ones who do things the right way. And Joe is the perfect example of that.”
At the end of the season, Staley told NBC Sports Bay Area there was a point when the 49ers were mired in a nine-game losing streak to open the season that he considered whether he might return in 2018.
But he said he had an uplifting talk with Shanahan that got him re-focused and re-energized to continue his career at a high level. He told his wife, “Hey, I’m going to be a football player for a little bit longer.”
The 49ers player with the longest memory is ready to turn the page on an old rivalry.
Left tackle Joe Staley welcomed former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman to the 49ers on Sunday via social media
“As much as I disliked playing against him for years, I know I will love being teammates with him going forward,” Staley wrote on Twitter. “Pumped to have @RSherman_25 as a teammate!!”
Staley, 33, is a veteran of 11 NFL seasons – all with the 49ers. Staley, a six-time Pro Bowl player, is the longest-tenured 49ers player. Sherman spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Seahawks, during which time he proved to be a main nemesis of the 49ers.
Sherman agreed to terms on Saturday with the 49ers on a three-year contract just one day after the Seahawks released him to avoid paying his scheduled $11 million salary.