Alabama in the Pros

Redskins decline the fifth-year option on Reuben Foster’s contract

Sergio Estrada - USA TODAY Sports

After suffering from two torn ligaments in his knee and missing the entire 2019 season, Reuben Foster is in a tough spot with the Washington Redskins. His fifth-year option was not picked up by the team via Les Carpenter (Redskins reporter for Washington Post), which means he will be an unrestricted free agent after this season.

Foster was a first-round selection (No. 31 overall) to the San Francisco 49ers in the 2017 NFL Draft, following a prolific collegiate career.

His first year was strong, as he totaled 72 tackles with seven stops for loss through 10 regular season games.

He made the All-Rookie Team for Pro Football Writers Association and many people felt he was destined for greatness, in getting the opportunity to play with NaVorro Bowman, Ahmad Brooks, Elvin Dumervil and Malcolm Smith. 

However, off-field issues would derail Foster.

He recorded 29 tackles through six games in 2018, but charges of weapons possession, drug offense and domestic violence led to him getting released from the 49ers on Nov. 24, 2018. Even though the victim, Elissa Ennis, lied and would later recant her story on the domestic violence case, Foster still was let go from the team. 

Three days later, the talented inside linebacker was claimed by the Redskins off waivers. He had to complete a program before the team could even think about having him on the field and even in his progress, Foster suffered a major setback. 

He tore his knee in his first practice with the team in May of 2019.  

Foster was placed on injured reserve and enters his fourth NFL season this fall. 

RELATED: Buccaneers pick up fifth-year option on O.J. Howard’s contract

At Alabama, he was the heat-seeking missile that kept its defense in line. 

He helped the Crimson Tide capture a national championship in 2015 with Reggie Ragland, but the following season displayed Foster at his finest. The 6-foot-1, 228-pound enforcer captained a defensive unit that forced 29 turnovers – including 11 for touchdowns.

Foster led the team in tackles (115) and had 13 tackles for loss, five sacks and eight quarterback pressures. He was a unanimous All-American, first-team All-SEC and a Butkus Award winner. 

Foster was on three Southeastern Conference title teams (2014-16) and a national championship squad at Alabama.

Hopefully, he will find a way to get himself back on track. 

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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