News of the Jets working out linebacker Reuben Foster raised a few eyebrows on Thursday.
The former 49ers first-round pick hasn’t played in a regular season game since 2018 and has had a myriad of off-the-field issues, including multiple arrests on suspicion of domestic violence.
Robert Saleh confirmed and explained the workout was more of a formality for the Jets to evaluate a player for a potential “emergency list,” rather than an indication the Jets planned to sign Foster. Saleh wouldn’t go into detail about the Jets’ level of interest in the linebacker, though.
“I know Reuben,” Saleh said Thursday. “Bringing him out here for a workout is exactly what it is: it’s a workout. And the level of interest will be judged on that workout. It’s nothing more, nothing less.”
The 27-year-old Foster received a two-game suspension in 2018 for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy over a weapons offense and a misdemeanor drug offense. The 49ers released him on Nov. 25, 2018, after his second suspicion of domestic violence arrest in one year.
Foster’s first suspicion of domestic violence arrest came on Feb. 11, 2018, following an incident with his girlfriend. The woman eventually recanted her original accusations. Foster was arrested again on domestic violence suspicion nine months later on Nov. 24, 2018, which prompted the 49ers to release him immediately.
The Washington Football team claimed Foster three days after his arrest despite the NFL putting him on the commissioner’s exempt list. Charges were eventually dropped by the State Attorney’s Office in Florida in January 2019. Foster was taken off the commissioner’s exempt list in April but never suited up for Washington after tearing his ACL.
Despite Foster’s past, Saleh assured that the Jets wouldn’t sign a player who didn’t fit the organization’s culture.
“I know him personally and I can assure you that we would never bring somebody to this organization that we didn’t think would represent it in the right way,” he said.