Thursday's NFL: Foster no longer faces domestic violence charge
Prosecutors have decided not to pursue a domestic violence charge against Washington linebacker Reuben Foster, though the NFL continues to review the matter.
Prosecutors in Tampa, Florida, filed a notice of termination of prosecution on Wednesday. The notice states that the first-degree misdemeanor battery charge is dismissed and there is no need for Foster to appear at any future court hearings.
Prosecutors concluded there was insufficient evidence to file charges against Foster after “a meticulous review of the facts of the case,” said Estella Gray, director of communications for the State Attorney’s Office.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Thursday the league is monitoring all developments in the situation, which continues to be under review. Foster is on the Commissioner Exempt list, which prevented him from playing in games or practicing.
The league may still punish Foster even though he has been cleared by the court system.
Foster was arrested at the San Francisco 49ers’ hotel in Tampa in November and jailed overnight following an incident involving the second-year linebacker and a companion police identified as the same woman who said Foster hit her in February. The woman later recanted the earlier allegations.
Vikings not ‘nasty’ enough
The Minnesota Vikings followed their NFC championship game appearance by signing the most accomplished quarterback on the market and adding a premier defensive tackle. They put themselves squarely in the offseason conversation about legitimate Super Bowl contenders.
That turned out to be just talk.
“This football team through four years that I’ve been here had that ‘nasty, we’re going to win regardless of what the situation is’ mentality, and I don’t know that we had it this year,” coach Mike Zimmer said. “I talked to a couple people during the season around the building, and I actually said to them, ‘It’s just kind of a different vibe with this football team, and I can’t figure out why.’ Because we had a lot of the same guys back.”
The Vikings went 8-7-1, missing the playoffs when defending champion Philadelphia, the team that beat them so soundly in the semifinals a year ago, leapfrogged them on the last day of the season.
“But we’re going to get that mentality back,” Zimmer said on Thursday at his wrapup news conference. “I can promise you that.”
Hall releases ballot list
First-time eligibles Tony Gonzalez, Ed Reed and Champ Bailey are among 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fames’ class of 2019.
They will be joined in balloting on Feb. 2 by Steve Atwater, Tony Boselli, Isaac Bruce, Don Coryell, Alan Faneca, Tom Flores, Steve Hutchinson, Edgerrin James, Ty Law, John Lynch, Kevin Mawae and Richard Seymour. Although previously eligible, Flores — who coached two Oakland Raiders teams to Super Bowl titles — and longtime defensive lineman Seymour are finalists for the first time.
Former Eastern Michigan quarterback Brogan Roback, who entered the league as an undrafted rookie free agent with Cleveland , has signed with Pittsburgh.
... The Seattle Seahawks expect to have starting cornerback Shaquill Griffin available for Saturday’s NFC wild-card game against Dallas, while starting guard J.R. Sweezy will be a game-time decision.