Former San Francisco 49ers first-round draft pick, linebacker Reuben Foster, has signed with the Pittsburgh Maulers of the USFL for the 2023 season, according to a report by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Foster, 28, was the No. 31 overall pick out of Alabama in 2017. He spent two seasons with the 49ers before a string of off-the-field incidents derailed his career. Foster was arrested in January 2018 for possession of marijuana, in February 2018 for domestic violence, terroristic threats and weapons charges. That April, he was charged with three felony counts. That May, his girlfriend, Elissa Ennis recanted her story of domestic abuse. He ended up being suspended two games for the weapons and drug offenses.
In November, Foster was arrested again for domestic violence and was placed on waivers by the 49ers, with head coach Kyle Shanahan saying the arrest history made him “hard to trust.”
The Washington Redskins claimed Foster on waivers. He did not suit up for the team in 2019 while sorting out his legal issues. In January 2019, the second round of domestic violence charges against Foster were dropped.
Foster returned to the field ahead of the 2019 season, but during his first practice with Washington, suffered a torn ACL and missed the entire 2019 and 2020 seasons. He has not played football since.
The 6-foot-1, 228-pound Roanoke, Alabama native finished his NFL career with 101 tackles, 10 for a loss, seven quarterback hits and two passes defended. He was a member of the 2017 PFWA All-Rookie team. At Alabama, Foster was a unanimous All-American in 2016 and won the Butkus Award as the best linebacker in the country.
The Maulers will be playing their home games at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio this spring, with the season starting on April 23. Foster will be one of a number of former NFL players looking to make their mark, along with former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback James Morgan and defensive backs Trajan Bandy and Tre Tarpley.