Redskins coach Jay Gruden says 'no guarantee' Reuben Foster ever plays for team

Here’s the problem with the NFL mentality, or at least how it expresses itself, when it comes to domestic violence claims, in one quote from Redskins coach Jay Gruden about Reuben Foster.

Foster was accused of domestic violence earlier this season, those charges were dropped after the alleged victim recanted, and then the 49ers cut Foster after he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence before the 49ers played the Buccaneers last week. The Redskins claimed him off waivers.

“We understand there are a lot of things he’s gone through,” Gruden said during his weekly Wednesday press conference.

What Foster has “gone through” is poor wording, to say the least. Foster is not the victim. And the Redskins are just making a cold-blooded football decision.

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.

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 the 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.”

This isn’t a situation, like the Seattle Seahawks signing Mychal Kendricks after he pleaded guilty to the federal crime of insider trading and putting him right in the lineup, where Washington figured Foster would play right away.

“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.”

In April, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster arrives at Santa Clara County Superior Court. (AP)
In April, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster arrives at Santa Clara County Superior Court. (AP)

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

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