Gruden spoke often about “getting to the bottom of” what happened, and perhaps they will confirm what Foster has been accused of and move on without him playing a game for them.
Gruden said a few times on Wednesday there’s no guarantee Foster will ever play for Washington.
NFL linebacker Reuben Foster
NFL linebacker Reuben Foster
TUSCALOOSA, AL - APRIL 19: Reuben Foster #10 of the Crimson team looks into the backfield of the White team during the University of Alabama A-Day spring game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on April 19, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Jan 7, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Reuben Foster (10) during the Alabama Crimson Tide media day at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31: Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Reuben Foster (10) walks onto the field prior to the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl football game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Washington Huskies on December 31, 2016, at Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA. Alabama won the game 24-7. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 09: Quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 of the Clemson Tigers is tackled short of the first down by linebacker Reuben Foster #10 and defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick #29 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during the third quarter of the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game as defensive back Marlon Humphrey #26 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on at Raymond James Stadium on January 9, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 11: San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster (56) flexes after his teammates made a defensive stop in the third quarter of an NFL week 1 preseason game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs on August 11th, 2017 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. The 49ers won 27-17. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Aug 27, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster (56) looks on following the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 10, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster (56) is loaded onto the injury cart during the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Christian McCaffrey #22 of the Carolina Panthers talks to Reuben Foster #56 of the San Francisco 49ers after their game at Levi's Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 01: San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster (56) walks the sidelines prior to an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Reuben Foster (56) celebrates after making a tackle during an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Arizona Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson (23) and San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Reuben Foster (56) pose for a picture after exchanging their jersey's with each other during an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on November 5, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 03: Daniel Brown #85 of the Chicago Bears carries the football against Reuben Foster #56 of the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth quarter at Soldier Field on December 3, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Chicago Bears 15-14. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 10: Reuben Foster #56 of the San Francisco 49ers talks with Official Allen Baynes on the field prior to the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Houston, Texas. The 49ers defeated the Texans 26-16. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 17: San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Reuben Foster (56) brings down Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) during the game between the Tennessee Titans verses the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, December 17, 2017 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA (Photo by Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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Redskins say they’ll investigate Reuben Foster claims
Based on what Gruden said, Washington made a quick decision to claim Foster off waivers, figuring Foster would go to the commissioner exempt list. That would allow them time to do their own investigation into what happened in Tampa.
When asked if the Redskins would cut him if they found the claims were true, Gruden deflected by saying, “We’ll decide that when we get all the information.”
“He’s got the NFL to deal with, he’s got thee law enforcement to deal with, he’s got us to deal with. We hold our standards very high also,” Gruden said. “We just want to get to the bottom of what happened.”
“There’s no guarantees he’s ever going to play here, to be honest with you,” Gruden said. “He’s got a lot of work to do, personally, with the team, with the NFL, with himself, before he ever thinks about playing football again.”
We’ll see what happens after Washington looks further into what happened.
Jay Gruden met with Foster before the draft
Gruden said he talked to Foster before the 2017 draft, and he was one of his favorite players in the draft and one of his favorite interviews too. Foster was drafted late in the first round by the 49ers that year. As for what has happened since then, Gruden said he didn’t know.
“I’ve read a little bit about what happened and it’s not good,” Gruden said.
Gruden went so far as to say Foster has to prove “he can function in society” before he plays for the Redskins. This is a move that drew a lot of outrage, and rightfully so. Yet, a Redskins public relations staffer cut off Foster questions after about nine minutes, asking if anyone wanted to talk about the Eagles game this week. This situation won’t just go away. Even if Washington thought it was simply claiming Foster and buying time for them to “get to the bottom of” what happened, it’s a move that looks bad for the organization given what we know.
“At the end of the day, we decided to make the move. We’ll deal with the outcry, so to speak,” Gruden said. “For the most part this is a young athlete, young person who got himself into some trouble. We want to find out exactly what happened.”