Redskins Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Williams said the franchise’s key decision makers were united in their decision to claim troubled linebacker Reuben Foster on Tuesday, just two days after Foster was released by the 49ers following a weekend arrest on a domestic violence charge, Scott Allen of the Washington Post reports.
Williams, speaking publicly for the first time about Washington’s decision, said he and the Redskins expected the widespread criticism after they were the only team to put in a claim on Foster, who has been arrested three times this year and was suspended for the first two games of this season under the NFL’s personal conduct and substance abuse policies. The NFL placed Foster on the commissioner’s exempt list Tuesday, meaning he won’t be eligible to play until the league makes a final disciplinary decision in his case.
“We knew there was going to be some backlash, and we understand that, and rightfully so,” Williams told Doc Walker during his weekly appearance on The Team 980. “I’ve got six daughters, so it ain’t something I would condone, but at the same time I think we are in the business of at least looking into [his case]. I could sit here, and I won’t, name a bunch of teams that took on players that got a lot of baggage that nobody’s saying anything about. You can’t get into nitpicking what they do and what you do. You gotta look at it from your standpoint. There was a lot of thought that went into it. It wasn’t just a spur of the moment type of thing. We all gathered, we talked about it, we knew there was going to be some risk-reward involved in it.”
Walker asked Williams about a Washington Post report, citing an NFL official with knowledge of the situation, that the Redskins front office’s decision to claim Foster was not unanimous.
“When I read that, I was trying to find out who wasn’t united,” Williams said. “ .?.?. This is all the people from the head coach, and myself and [Redskins team president Bruce Allen], and of course the owner, who owns this football team, has to know what we’re talking about. I don’t know who wasn’t on board. I don’t know where the source comes from. In every organization and every business, everything else, I’m sure they got some leakers who might say something and people take it and run with it .?.?. Nobody that was in my room was thumbs down.”