What the Release of Reuben Foster Means for the San Francisco 49ers

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 28: San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster (56) looks on in game action during an NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers on October 28, 2018 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

After reports were released of San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster being arrested for domestic violence, the 49ers were quick to move on, and rightfully so. Early Sunday morning the team announced it was officially moving on from Foster and released him.

This arrest was Foster’s third of the year, and the second time it has been for domestic violence. Entering the season Foster had many questions surrounding him on whether or not he would face legal trouble from his earlier arrest.

The NFL doesn’t process transactions on Sundays, so Foster’s release will become official on Monday. Teams then have 24 hours to claim him off waivers; if he is not claimed then he becomes a free agent.

Foster’s off the field past should make many teams hesitate to pursue him but there is no arguing his on the field talent. Since 2017, when he was drafted, Foster has recorded 101 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, and two pass deflections.

What the Release of Reuben Foster Means for the 49ers

What it Means for the 49ers Going Forward

Foster’s absence will be felt greatly going forward for this team. His impact as a starter is unprecedented. However, with the emergence of rookie linebacker Fred Warner, the team has an immediate replacement at middle linebacker. Warner has shown the impact he can make both in the run and pass game for his team.

While the 49ers are very thin at linebacker depth, they should manage fine to finish out the season.

Off-Season Reloading

Of course, without starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, the team has struggled greatly in the past few weeks. Because of this, the 49ers have set themselves up to be a top pick in the 2019 NFL draft. In fact, the team currently owns the number one overall pick. While that pick should be used to address the defensive line, the team could look at later rounds to grab another linebacker.

Some possible targets for the 49ers to look at include: Bobby Okereke (Stanford), Joe Giles-Harris (Duke), Germaine Pratt (N.C. State), Te’Von Conley (Notre Dame), and Vosean Joseph (Florida).

Any of these players could serve as good depth players and even starters at outside linebacker for the team.

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