Reuben Foster placed on NFL's Commissioner Exempt List

Chris Lingebach
November 27, 2018 - 8:26 pm

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images


The NFL placed linebacker Reuben Foster on the Commissioner Exempt list shortly after he was claimed off waivers by the Washington Redskins on Tuesday.

The seldom-used Commissioner Exempt list – popularized by Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson in 2014 – assures that Foster, while the league continues to review his arrest, cannot practice or attend games, but with the club's permission he "may be present at the club's facility on a reasonable basis for meetings, individual workouts, therapy and rehabilitation, and other permitted non-football activities."

The Redskins ignited a social media powder keg by claiming Foster, who was arrested Saturday night on a first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence charge and promptly released by the 49ers Sunday morning. Foster was arrested at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Tampa, where the 49ers were staying before their Sunday game against the Buccaneers.

The alleged victim accused Foster of slapping her phone out of her hand, pushing her in the chest and slapping her with an open hand across her face. Officers observed a one-inch scratch on her left collarbone, NFL Media says.

Police confirmed it is the same victim who previously accused Foster of domestic violence in February, an incident in California which led to felony charges of domestic violence, making criminal threats and weapons possession. The first two charges were dropped after the woman recanted her allegations, leaving a judge to rule there was no probable cause in the matter and no further evidence to support the charges.

The weapons charge was later reduced to a misdemeanor. After pleading no-contest in June, Foster was sentence to two years' probation, 232 hours of community service and $235 in fines.

After claiming Foster on Tuesday, the Redskins issued a statement from Doug Williams, VP of Player Personnel, assuring "the Redskins fully understand the severity of the recent allegations made against Reuben."

"Let me be clear, Reuben will have to go through numerous steps including the full legal process, an investigation and potential discipline from the NFL, as well as meetings with counselors associated with the team before he will ever have the opportunity to wear the Burgundy and Gold as a player," Williams said.

"That being said, we decided to investigate the situation with Reuben further by claiming his rights after candid conversations with a number of his ex-Alabama teammates and current Redskins players who were overwhelmingly supportive of us taking this chance. Nothing is promised to Reuben, but we are hopeful being around so many of his former teammates and friends will eventually provide him with the best possible environment to succeed both personally and professionally."

Foster was a first-round selection (31st overall) by San Francisco in the 2017 NFL Draft.

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