Former NFL linebacker Reuben Foster signs with Pittsburgh Maulers of USFL

Former NCAA National Champion (Alabama, 2015) and NFL first-round draft pick Reuben Foster has decided to take the chance at reviving his career in the USFL with the Pittsburgh Maulers.

The Maulers brought in the talented but controversial Foster to bring experience and a captain to their defensive front-seven. If the name sounds familiar to you, his name was all over the news of the football world not too long ago. Just not for the right reasons.

After a stellar career at the University of Alabama, Foster was the second to last pick in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, falling to the San Francisco 49ers.

During his second season in the NFL the issues would start to pile up for Foster as he was arrested in his home state of Alabama on a charge of possession of marijuana in January of 2018. Almost a month later he was arrested again for a suspicion of domestic violence, threats and assault weapon possession charges.

Two months after that it would seem those suspicions would be true as on April 12, Foster was charged with felony counts of multiple domestic violence, possession of a weapon, and infliction of bodily harm.

However, these charges were dropped on the realization that these were false accusations from Foster’s girlfriend at the time, Elissa Ennis, as she testified under oath that she had fabricated the story “as a money scheme”.

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster runs a drill during training camp on Saturday, July 28, 2018, in Santa Clara, Calif.


When it seemed Foster was looking to start fresh with all of this offseason drama seemingly behind him, his luck would not seem to change when the season was underway. In late November that year, Foster was arrested yet again on probable cause misdemeanor domestic violence charges.

This seemingly was the last straw for the 49ers as they would subsequently release him the next day. San Franciso head coach Kyle Shanahan made a comment following his release saying that the decision was made as the arrest and all other previous issues made him “very hard to trust”.

Foster did not play the rest of the 2018 season, and he was picked up off waivers by the Washington Commanders. He survived the rest of the year and the following offseason as a member of Washington.

This all came to naught as Foster tore his ACL and LCL in May of 2019. This essentially marked the end of his NFL career as he would not play another down in the league before his contract with Washington would expire.

While Foster’s career has been riddled with injury and controversy, he was very productive when he was able to stay on the field. While Foster missed a decent chunk of his first season, through the 10 games and 10 starts as a rookie, he put up a respectable 72 total tackles and graded higher than any other rookie linebacker.

Given his off-field issues and injury history, it makes sense that he has had some trouble finding his way back on an NFL roster.

However, in this writer’s mind, given his potential, and if he is able to stay healthy, Reuben Foster could very well surprise and win USFL DPOY.

Noah Costantino is a student and football player at Baldwin Wallace University in Cleveland, Ohio. Fueled by his love for the game he looks to continue his knowledge of football at an international level. He is majoring in Communications with a