Reuben Foster fined, not suspended, for incident that led to his release from 49ers

Reuben Foster was cut by the San Francisco 49ers for an incident in Tampa last season in which Foster was arrested, but the NFL found there was no reason to suspend him for it.

However, strangely, it did find that Foster was guilty enough of something to fine him two game checks. The NFL announced its decision just before the end of the business day on Friday.

Foster, an inside linebacker who was claimed off waivers by the Washington Redskins in a controversial transaction, was arrested last November on suspicion of domestic violence battery before a 49ers-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game. Foster, who had previously served a two-game suspension that stemmed from an incident with another domestic violence allegation, was arrested on Saturday before the Bucs-49ers game and cut the next morning.

Despite taking a lot of heat for claiming Foster after he was cut, the Redskins won’t have to wait for Foster to serve a suspension.

The NFL’s statement on Reuben Foster

Here’s what the NFL had to say about Foster on Friday:

“Today, the NFL notified Reuben Foster of the Washington Redskins that he will be fined two game checks following a review of recent incidents and an assessment of his adherence to obligations arising from previous violations of league policies. Following a thorough investigation, the evidence did not support a finding that Foster violated the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy in connection with the Tampa incident in November 2018. The NFL has returned Foster to the active roster from the Commissioner Exempt list. He may fully participate in all team activities.

“Foster has acknowledged that he is responsible for his actions, and he has committed to a comprehensive accountabilIty plan developed by the league, the NFLPA, and the Washington Redskins to help him grow personally and avoid future misconduct. Foster was advised that any future incidents will likely result in more substantial discipline.”

Former San Francisco 49ers' Reuben Foster was informed he will not be suspended by the NFL. (AP)
Former San Francisco 49ers' Reuben Foster was informed he will not be suspended by the NFL. (AP)

Foster has a few off-field incidents in his past

In 2018, Foster was accused of dragging his then-girlfriend Elissa Ennis, and punching her in the head multiple times. Charges were dropped when Ennis recanted her story. Foster was suspended two games for misdemeanor gun charge and a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge, which was dropped, stemming from that incident.

Ennis later told “Good Morning America” she was lying when she recanted her story, “Because I loved him, and love will have you doing things that’s not in your best interests.”

Ennis was involved in the Tampa incident last November. She said on “GMA” that Foster paid for her to go to Tampa to work on their relationship, but they argued and she said he became physical. According to a criminal report affidavit obtained by ABC News, Foster allegedly slapped Ennis’ “phone out of her hand, pushed her in the chest area and slapped her with an open hand on the right side of her face.”

The NFL investigated and found no evidence that Foster violated the personal-conduct policy, though he’ll have to play for free for the first two weeks of the season.

Statements from Bruce Allen, Foster

Through the Redskins, team president Bruce Allen and Foster released statements:

Foster said: "I am grateful to the Washington Redskins and the NFL for giving me this second chance. I appreciate the support I have received from the league, my team, and my union to help me succeed. I want to thank Commissioner Goodell for the time that he has spent with me and for his understanding of me as a person. I accept the NFL’s decision and want to say that I am truly sorry for my past actions and the people who may have been hurt by them. Going forward, I will follow the plan outlined for me and work hard to earn back the trust of my teammates, the NFL, NFL fans, and the community. I know that my success is all up to me, and I am committed to not letting you down."

Allen said: "Everyone in this league is held to a higher standard. Reuben understands that his past actions have led a lot of people to doubt him, and he has committed to doing the work necessary to earn the trust of his teammates, our great fans, and the NFL.

"The Redskins have put in place a comprehensive responsibility and accountability plan to help Reuben be successful on and off the field. Elements of this plan include individual counseling, a structured living arrangement, weekly meetings with the club player engagement director, weekly meetings with our team chaplain, and targeted community service engagements.

"We have been very clear with Reuben that his past does not have to determine his future – but the responsibility is squarely on him to change. Reuben must fully adhere to the plan we have developed for him. Reuben knows that we simply will not tolerate any future conduct that is detrimental to the Washington Redskins organization or to the NFL."

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

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