Bruce Allen doesn't understand why the NFL would suspend Reuben Foster

Josh Luckenbaugh
January 23, 2019 - 8:16 am

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Among the many topics Redskins president Bruce Allen addressed at his first press conference in 588 days at the Senior Bowl Tuesday, one of them was the status of linebacker Reuben Foster.

Foster was claimed off waivers by the Redskins in November just days after he was arrested on a first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence charge in Tampa, Fla. and subsequently released by the 49ers.

The charge against Foster was dropped in early January, but as of now he remains on the Commisioner's Exempt List as the NFL continues its own investigation.

"Clearly, he's cleared from Florida. The league is still finishing their investigation of it," Allen said Tuesday. "We finished our investigation with it. He's working hard, he's healthy and doing the things that we have mandated that he do in order to ever wear the Burgundy and Gold."

LISTEN: Bruce Allen Full Press Conference

Curiously, however, when asked if he expected the league to suspend Foster, Allen said this: 

"I think he'll fit in very well into our defense, as a player. I don't know why we would expect a suspension, but we'll let the league finish it."

This answer doesn't necessarily stand up when you look at the NFL's precedent for suspending players accused of domestic violence. Just last year, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was suspended six games — albeit after a lengthy appeal process — stemming from a domestic violence accusation for which he was never criminally charged. 

READ: J.P. Finlay believes Reuben Foster will be suspended 

Additionally, Allen didn't provide many details on the Redskins' own investigation into the domestic violence accusations against Foster. 

"We went back to the reports we had a year ago, from him coming out of college. I think we had a good sense of who the person was and did our own quick investigation of some of the facts that we had heard," said Allen. "We're fortunate that the outcome was somewhat anticipated."

"I'll just say we did our homework on what we had to do on the player himself. We know a lot of people who know him. We'll see. He still has a ways to go in order to get on the football field, but right now he's doing everything correct."

The number of people the Redskins consulted regarding Foster has been a point of some controversy. When the team announced they'd claimed Foster, the Redskins released a statement from Senior VP of Player Personnel Doug Williams which said the claim was made "after candid conversations with a number of his ex-Alabama teammates and current Redskins players who were overwhelmingly supportive of us taking this chance."

However, several former Alabama players on the Redskins, including Jonathan Allen and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, said the team never consulted them, while Shaun Dion Hamilton and Ryan Anderson declined to comment.

On Tuesday, Allen offered little clarification as to who exactly the Redskins consulted regarding Foster.

"We do talk to our players quite a bit. We don't want our players discussing what we discuss with them," he said. "We've talked to them about players in this upcoming draft and they won't discuss it. We talked to people at Alabama. We talked to a number of people."

"Not going to get into what we investigated, but we felt comfortable that we knew the player. And I should say we knew the person involved. And Reuben has demonstrated, since he's been with us, that he wants to play football, he wants to do things the right way, he wants to be a valuable member, not only of the Redskins on the field, but off the field as well. And we'll see what happens with that."

"We hold our players to a very high standard with the Redskins and we ask for a commitment that goes beyond the 60 minutes of a football game," Allen concluded. "Reuben understands what he has to do and he's been doing it every day."

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