A first-round pick of the 49ers back in 2017, Foster lived up to his billing in his first professional season, appearing in 10 games (all starts) and racking up 72 total tackles en route to a third-place finish in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting. Pro Football Focus was especially fond of his performance and assigned him a terrific 81.2 overall score, including high marks for his work as a run stopper and in coverage.
Things began to go south in 2018, however. Foster was arrested three times that year, and after the third arrest in November 2018 — which stemmed from a domestic violence charge — the 49ers waived him. Washington made the highly controversial decision to claim him off waivers, and he spent the remainder of the campaign on the commissioner’s exempt list.
In January 2019, Florida prosecutors dropped the November charge due to insufficient evidence, and Foster was reinstated several months later. It seemed the Alabama product would have a chance to reestablish himself as a frontline ‘backer in the nation’s capital, but in his first practice with Washington, Foster suffered a torn ACL, LCL, and MCL. He also dealt with nerve damage that left him without feeling in his toes for several months. He missed all of the 2019 season, and though he finally returned to the practice field in August 2020, it was clear that he was not anywhere close to his old self, and he spent all of 2020 on IR.
Foster took a few workouts last September and also auditioned for the Dolphins this April, but he remains on the open market. The Seahawks currently have 2020 first-rounder Jordyn Brooks penciled in as their middle linebacker without much proven depth behind him, so it can’t hurt to see if their former division rival still has anything to offer.