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The latest Reuben Foster arrest illustrates why Lions scout character

In 2017, Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster’s talent level made him a potential Top-5 selection. Keeping him from locking up a top spot in the draft was a history of injuries and rumors swirling about his character. Teams uncovered (and leaked) information about off the field concerns, as well as a bizarre incident at the NFL Combine, where he got into an altercation with a hospital worker during medical examinations and was sent home by league officials.

When the draft arrived, Foster was still available when the Detroit Lions went on the clock, and despite the wealth of talent Foster possessed, general manager Bob Quinn selected a different middle linebacker, Jarrad Davis, who was known for his exemplary character and leadership traits. Foster was selected 10 picks later by the San Francisco 49ers.

On the field in 2017, Foster played as most expected, missing six games with a neck injury, while playing himself into the conversation for defensive rookie of the year and finishing as Pro Football Focus’ fourth-best linebacker.

The following offseason, Foster was arrested in January on a misdemeanor marijuana charge that was eventually dropped after he completed a diversion program.

Then in February, Foster was arrested again, this time on domestic violence and weapons charges. The domestic violence charge was dismissed after the victim recanted her accusation, indicating she lied to police, while Foster pleaded no contest to the weapons charge and was placed on probation and assigned community service.

The NFL handed down a two-game suspension for the drug and weapons charges, resulting in him missing the Week 2 game against the Lions.

Unfortunately, for all individuals involved, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Foster has been arrested once again on a domestic violence charge — with the same victim — and is currently being held in a Florida jail without bail.

The 49ers, who had supported Foster during his previous off the field struggles, have apparently learned enough about this incident to release him from the team only 12 hours after being charged.

Several NFL teams hold zero-tolerance policies on domestic violence because of the devastating impact it has on all individuals involved. These policies carry over to the scouting department as teams look to invest in players in free agency and the draft.

The Lions have made a point to follow owner Martha Ford’s lead — Dave Birkett of the Free press wrote a 2016 article about how she has been honored for her stance on domestic violence — and Quinn echoed his support in the teams approach to acquiring players, “The two things that are zero-tolerance are domestic violence and dangerous weapons. Those are the two things I’m not going to stand for, I don’t believe in. That’s how I feel.”

In hindsight, the Lions did right by their team by selecting Davis over Foster, but that doesn’t mean they “won” the draft pick, it just means they made a choice that has positively benefited the organization.

These type of incidents don’t have winners.

If Foster is found guilty, which is yet to be determined, you have to feel for the victim and hope she gets the support she needs. You also hope he is held accountable for his actions while also getting the help he needs to avoid this type of behavior in the future.

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