ATLANTA — The NFL is leaving open the possibility of suspending Washington Redskins linebacker Reuben Foster under its personal conduct policy, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday.
Goodell said at the end of his annual news conference during Super Bowl week that he has met previously with Foster and plans to speak to him again.
Foster had a domestic violence charge against him in Florida dropped by prosecutors earlier this month. But the conduct policy permits the NFL to discipline a player in the absence of criminal charges if the league determines after an investigation that such a measure is warranted.
“We continue our investigation into that,” Goodell said. “Whether charges are dropped doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t a violation of our personal conduct policy. Reuben and I have met before. We will talk again. But we’ll conclude that investigation and make a determination, and we’ll go from there.”
Foster remains on the commissioner’s exempt list, which amounts to paid administrative leave, until the NFL makes its decision about a potential suspension, which would be without pay. Under the conduct policy, the baseline disciplinary measure for a player involved in a domestic violence incident is a suspension of six games, although that can be increased or decreased based on circumstances.
Foster was released by his previous team, the San Francisco 49ers, after being arrested in Tampa in November following an incident involving his former girlfriend. Prosecutors dropped a misdemeanor domestic violence charge against Foster this month after concluding that there was insufficient evidence to pursue a criminal case.
The Redskins claimed Foster off waivers following his release by the 49ers. He did not play for the team during the remainder of the 2018 season while on the exempt list.
Goodell also said Wednesday that the league soon could complete its investigation involving former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt. The Chiefs cut Hunt in late November after TMZ released video showing him shoving and kicking a woman during a February incident in a Cleveland hotel.
“That hopefully will happen soon,” Goodell said of the league finishing its probe into that case. “But we haven’t completed the investigation. We’re working to do that. There has been a tremendous amount of progress, though, in that investigation over the last, I’d say, 30 to 60 days.”
Hunt also faces a potential suspension. If he is signed by a team before the league completes its investigation and makes a disciplinary ruling, he would be placed on the exempt list, Goodell said.
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