NFL GM breaks silence on first-round pick accused of domestic violence


San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch says the team will wait for the legal process to play out before taking action on linebacker Reuben Foster.

The 24-year-old Foster is facing three felony charges stemming from an alleged domestic violence incident involving his live-in girlfriend Feb. 11 at their home in Las Gatos, California.

According to an April 12 news release from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, Foster’s girlfriend told police he “dragged her by her hair, physically threw her out of the house, and punched her in the head 8 to 10 times.”

She suffered a ruptured eardrum as a result of the incident, according to police.

Foster was charged with domestic violence, inflicting great bodily injury and forcefully trying to prevent a victim from reporting a crime.

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He is also facing misdemeanor charges for allegedly possessing a large capacity magazine for a Sig Sauer 516 rifle.

If convicted on all of those charges, Foster could face 11 years or more in prison.

While some have argued that the 49ers should release him immediately, Lynch indicated the team will wait and see how the case plays out in court.

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“I’m not at liberty to go in depth on this because it’s an ongoing legal process, and we’re going to respect that. … We do feel like patience is the right approach right now. We’re going to learn things through this legal process,” the GM told reporters Monday.

But he added, “I want to be abundantly clear, if these charges are proven true, if Reuben did hit this young lady, he won’t be a part of this organization going forward.”

Foster is not taking part in the team’s offseason program.

The NFL doesn’t need a conviction to take action against him under its personal conduct policy. Last year, Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott was suspended for six games over an alleged domestic violence incident for which he wasn’t charged.

Off-the-field issues are nothing new for Foster.

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He was rated as a top 10 pick out of the University of Alabama in the 2017 draft, but he failed a drug test at the NFL combine and was sent home after a “heated altercation” with a hospital worker there.

On draft day, Foster slid to the bottom of the first round, when the 49ers took him with the 31st pick.

In January, he was arrested in Alabama on a charge of second-degree possession of marijuana.

Foster recorded 72 tackles in 10 games as a rookie in 2017.

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Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He has worked as an editor or reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years.
Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He was born in Baltimore and grew up in Maryland. He graduated from the University of Miami (he dreams of wearing the turnover chain) and has worked as an editor and reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years. Todd started at The Miami News (defunct) and went on to work at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., the St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times, The Baltimore Sun and Space News before joining Liftable Media in 2016. He and his beautiful wife have two amazing daughters and a very old Beagle.
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