SNIDER: Redskins blow it by claiming Foster

Rick Snider
November 28, 2018 - 10:00 am
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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

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Claiming Reuben Foster was a needless, reckless move by the Washington Redskins.

The former San Francisco 49ers linebacker, who has been nothing but trouble even before being drafted in the first round of the 2017 draft, isn't worth the drama. Even worse, the Redskins bought themselves trouble with a dwindling fan base itching for a reason to say goodbye as the team struggles to make the playoffs.

First, the Redskins were reportedly the only team to claim Foster on Tuesday. If they hadn't, Foster would have been a free agent and available in the offseason. Why bother claiming him, given Foster probably won't play this season after being placed on the commissioner's exempt list while his latest legal troubles are decided?

Maybe it's all about 2019, and the Redskins are trying to burn the suspension now, but this team has enough drama over ending a two-game losing streak leaves it tied above the NFC East. This is exactly the type of needless distraction they don't need, especially when the player isn't even on the field.

Second, it's a bad look. NFL rosters aren't stocked with church goers, but Foster's two domestic violence charges, one of which was dismissed after the accuser recanted, along with a misdemeanor possession of an assault weapon conviction that brought a two-game NFL suspension, is a bad look.

What are the Redskins supposed to tell fans – that they’re not worried Foster hits women? The Redskins released a statement that if Foster is indeed a bad person, they won't keep him. But really, that's blah, blah, blah.

Washington is looking desperate. Forget this season – this shows the team knows 2019 could be bleak. Quarterback Alex Smith’s future is iffy after a brutal leg injury. That means the team is quarterback shopping.

And if Washington misses the playoffs, it's probably coach shopping, too. Throw in the uncertainty over how well running back Derrius Guice returns from an ACL injury along with a weak secondary, and the Redskins have some work to do.

Meanwhile, the stadium has been barely half full during the season. Foster not only doesn't sell tickets, but he probably costs some fans.

Foster could be a good player, but the juice isn't worth the squeeze. Repeated legal troubles shows he's not maturing, and to think fellow Alabama players in Washington will watch over their old college teammate is a stretch. They have their own worries without babysitting Foster.

The Redskins have signed many a troubled player in the past and mostly not been burned. But the public backlash surrounding Foster probably means he'll never see the field and will have only been a needless distraction.

So, in the end, why bother?

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks.

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