General manager John Lynch said Monday the San Francisco 49ers will be patient through linebacker Reuben Foster’s legal issues in a domestic violence case but stressed he won’t remain on the team if it determines he hit a woman.
“I’m not at liberty to go in depth on this because it’s an ongoing legal process, and we’re going to respect that. I do have a couple of thoughts. Speaking for Jed (York) and Kyle (Shanahan) and speaking for the York family, as you all know and as our release indicated, we take the gravity of these charges extremely seriously. We do feel like patience is the right approach right now. We’re going to learn things through this legal process.
In addition to the aforementioned felony charges in California, Foster is also facing second-degree marijuana possession charges in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, after an arrest there on Jan. 12. His next hearing for that is scheduled for May 2.
Either case could lead to discipline from the NFL, up to and including suspension. Foster’s cases will be reviewed under the league’s policies on substance abuse and personal conduct.
The 49ers drafted Foster 31st overall last year after questions about his health and character caused him to drop from being a possible top 10 pick.
Last year, 182 players, including 137 from American colleges, were on the early-entry list, up from 162 total and 117 from colleges in 2016.
Sixty-four college underclassmen kept their names in the NBA draft a year ago, which was up from 60 in 2016. This year, more than 55 college underclassmen have already either signed with an agent or announced they will sign with an agent, forgoing their remaining college eligibility. That list includes likely lottery picks Deandre Ayton (Arizona), Marvin Bagley III (Duke), Jaren Jackson Jr., (Michigan State), Michael Porter Jr. (Missouri) and Mohamed Bamba (Texas). Luka Doncic, expected to be selected in the top five in the June 21 NBA draft, was one of the 55 international players to declare.
However, the majority of the college underclassmen who have declared have not yet signed with an agent. The NBA rule allows players to retain their eligibility as long as they withdraw before May 30, 10 days after the conclusion of the May 16-20 NBA draft combine in Chicago.
A few key players, and potential first-rounders, decided not to test the NBA’s draft process, including Arkansas big man Daniel Gafford, Gonzaga sophomore forward Rui Hachimura and Virginia redshirt freshman De’Andre Hunter.