The Washington Redskins claimed Reuben Foster off waivers on Tuesday, setting off a firestorm that is both avoidable and deserved.
What are the Redskins doing?
That’s the question being asked across social media among fans, pundits and former executives in the wake of Washington claiming troubled linebacker Reuben Foster off waivers on Tuesday afternoon.
The politically and morally correct answer is that Washington is another dumb mistake, another in a long line of them under the current ownership. The real answer? The Redskins are doing what many NFL teams consistently do; overlook gross off-field behavior in search of on-field glory. In this case, though, all the other 31 teams thought Foster too toxic.
By claiming Foster, Washington is proving once more that it’s tone deaf. Being oblivious has long been a staple of the Redskins franchise dating back to the 1960s, when it was the last NFL team to integrate. The team has continued that ugly flaw under Dan Snyder, refusing to change the nickname to something less offensive, all while currently employing players that beats their children with switches (Adrian Peterson), passed out drunk at an intersection prior to a DUI arrest (Michael Floyd) and now Foster.
Foster is arguably the worst of the bunch. He was charged with felony domestic violence in February before being arrested on Saturday night at a Tampa hotel for a misdemeanor version of the crime.
None of this dissuaded Washington from taking a chance on Foster, or from releasing a weak statement with the intent of talking tough. The statement stunningly includes the organization consulting former Alabama teammates and current Redskins players on the move, instead of reaching out to the woman he’s allegedly abused repeatedly. There is also evidence of an October incident revolving around a domestic disturbance, although details remain sketchy.
If that’s not enough, Foster was tossed out of the NFL Scouting Combine in March 2017 for getting into a heated argument with a hospital worker in Indianapolis. Before being booted, Foster failed a drug test there, news that came out in the immediate lead-up to the draft.
Essentially, the San Francisco 49ers knew Foster had major behavioral issues when they traded up to nab him 31st-overall. Now the Redskins have more information at hand, much more disturbing information, and didn’t hesitate to add Foster to the roster and community.
Washington had a chance to make the smart decision. It could have passed on Foster, allowing him to become someone else’s headache.
Instead, the Redskins claimed Foster believing the PR hit won’t last. Here’s to hoping it lasts longer than Foster’s stint with the team.