Even with training camp underway, the Seattle Seahawks and general manager John Schneider are hard at work tinkering the 90-man roster to find the best possible players to compete for roster spots for Week 1.
One move that the Seahawks are considering making involves a former first-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers who hasn’t played in the NFL since 2018. NFL Network insider Ian Rapaport reported that the Seahawks brought in former 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster for a workout on Sunday, July 31.
Foster was last under contract with the Washington Commanders as late as 2020, but a torn ACL and LCL kept him off of the field. That significant knee injury has kept Foster away from the game, but according to Rapaport, the former Alabama star is beginning to draw interest from a handful of teams that have brought him in for workouts.
Reuben Foster’s Controversial NFL Career
Once considered a top-tier NFL draft prospect, Foster’s troubling pre-draft process, off-field incidents, and significant injury history has kept him from ever reaching his full potential on the field at the NFL level.
A star linebacker for Alabama, Foster finished his college career as a national champion, unanimous All-American, a first-team All-SEC selection, and the Butkus Award winner for the nation’s top linebacker.
ALL the latest Seahawks news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Seahawks newsletter here!
Foster was expected to generate plenty of interest during the pre-draft process, but his stock fell after undergoing shoulder surgery prior to the draft. More questions were raised at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, where Foster was dismissed from the event after a heated argument with a hospital worker.
After a draft-day slide, Foster was eventually selected by the 49ers with the 31st overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Although he missed six games as a rookie, Foster showed real promise on the field, finishing the season with 72 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, and five quarterback hits.
Off-field issues popped up for Foster again in 2018. After being suspended the first two games of the season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, Foster was then released by the 49ers later in the year following another arrest, this time on domestic violence charges. The charges were later dropped, but the 49ers wanted to avoid further distractions given how many off-field incidents Foster had dealt with.
The Commanders brought Foster in shortly after his release, claiming him off waivers. He never played for the team, however, after suffering his knee injury in May of 2019, and hasn’t played in the league since. Foster is hoping that his knee is healthy enough, and teams are willing to give him a chance given his previous history, to help him make an NFL comeback.
Who Will Play at Linebacker for the Seahawks?
With K.J. Wright officially retiring and Bobby Wagner now playing for the Los Angeles Rams, the Seahawks linebacker room looks drastically different than it did just a few years ago. However, the Seahawks are hopeful that they have another rising star at the position in 2022.
Entering his third NFL season, former first-round pick Jordyn Brooks is hoping to have another huge season, especially now that he’s the team’s defensive signal caller for the upcoming season. After a quiet rookie season, Brooks finished his second year in 2021 with 184 combined tackles, including a league-leading 109 solo tackles and 10 tackles for loss.
Cody Barton will likely be the other starting inside linebacker opposite of Brooks. A third-round pick back in 2019, Barton has stayed patient waiting behind legendary players like Wright and Wagner, and he’ll have an opportunity to prove himself worthy of being a full-time starter in training camp.
There’s still some time before the season begins, but as of right now it looks like Brooks and Barton will be the team’s starting inside linebackers.