By Lenny Kimmelman
The Redskins are still waiting for the NFL to decide what they’re going to do with Reuben Foster, whom they claimed off waivers last season from the Niners.
Twice last year, Foster found himself charged with domestic violence. Twice last year, the charges were dropped.
But the NFL has yet to issue a decision as to whether Foster will face punishment in the aftermath of the most recent arrest, the one that prompted the 49ers to waive the 2017 first-round pick.
“The league is still finishing their investigation of it,” Redskins president Bruce Allen told reporters yesterday. “I don’t know why we would expect a suspension, but we’ll let the league finish up.”
The question of whether Foster will be suspended could hinge on whether and to what extent his accuser, Elissa Ennis, cooperates with the league’s investigation. Cowboys Zeke Elliott’s accuser had a strong motivation to secure justice, and she did. If Ennis has similar motivation — and if she can tell a sufficiently credible story to persuade the league that Foster violated the Personal Conduct Policy — a suspension becomes more likely.
Whether Ennis can persuade the league is a separate issue, especially since the league seems to be trying to find a safe haven between not doing enough to a guy like Ray Rice and doing too much to a guy like Elliott. The fact that Foster never faced prosecution isn’t relevant, because prosecutors will routinely walk away from fights that they aren’t sure they’ll win beyond a reasonable doubt. The NFL uses a much lower standard of proof.
Then there’s the reality that Foster has developed a history of being arrested. The league tends to be far more aggressive with guys who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time on more than one occasion; at some point, the league will presume fire in the presence of sufficient smoke, regardless of whether fire is actually there.
Given those dynamics, it’s hard to see why Allen believes Foster will get off scot-free. Unless Allen knows something the rest of us currently don’t.