NY Jets working out former first-round LB Reuben Foster

NY Jets, Reuben Foster
NY Jets, Reuben Foster / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets are still looking for linebacker depth before the start of the season. And they've turned to a former first-round pick, Reuben Foster, in search of that depth.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported on Thursday that the Jets were working out Foster who previously spent time under head coach Robert Saleh in San Francisco.

Saleh was the defensive coordinator of the 49ers when Foster was drafted back in 2017 meaning that the two have some history together.

Foster's career has taken a nosedive since being drafted as off-field issues combined with injuries have ruined a once-promising career. But if the Jets are looking for a reclamation project, Foster does make some sense.

Reuben Foster makes sense as a reclamation project for the NY Jets

Foster was seen as perhaps the best linebacker in the country coming out of college in 2017. The former Alabama star was widely seen as a Day-1 lock with the chance to be selected as early as the top 10 or 15 picks.

However, Foster was sent home from the NFL Combine after getting into a heated argument with a student hospital worker. It was later revealed that Foster had failed a drug test.

Still, many expected him to be selected early and that's what happened when the 49ers drafted him with the 31st overall pick in the first round.

Foster put together an outstanding rookie season finishing with an elite 90.7 Pro Football Focus grade that ranked fourth among all linebackers in the NFL. And he did that as a rookie.

Unfortunately, his career would fall apart from there.

Foster was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, threats, and assault weapon possession charges in early February of 2018.

The charges were later dropped, but Foster was arrested again in November on probable cause misdemeanor domestic violence charges. The 49ers swiftly released the former star linebacker before he was claimed off waivers by Washington — a move that was criticized by many.

He never actually got to play with Washington as he tore his ACL and LCL in his first practice with the team in May of 2019. The injury was so severe that it cost him his entire 2019 and 2020 seasons as he rehabbed.

Foster is an outstanding talent, although it's hard to say where he's at currently, given that he hasn't played since the first half of the 2018 season. Moreover, his off-field issues are a concern.

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Still, with the Jets eyeing additional linebacker depth — even after claiming Quincy Williams off waivers — Foster does make sense given his prior history with Saleh.