San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster said he is using his legal problems that he feared could cost him his football career this offseason as a learning tool going forward now that he has been cleared of the most serious charges.
Foster spoke to the media on Saturday for the first time since he was charged in April for felony domestic assault and later exonerated when the accuser recanted her story and a judge found no other credible evidence.
"I learned every day I have to go harder at everything I do now to better myself even more Authentic Logan Cooke Jersey ," Foster said. "It's like do or die. Just don't mess up. ... It's like how I'm trying to craft my career, I have to craft my life."
Foster spent much of his offseason dealing with legal issues rather than preparing for his second season in the NFL. He was charged in January in Alabama with second-degree marijuana possession. That charge was eventually dismissed after he completed a first-time offender diversion course.
Foster then faced more serious charges for an incident in California in February. He was initially charged in April with felonies for domestic violence, making criminal threats and weapons possession after being accused of beating up his ex-girlfriend.
A judge ruled there was no probable cause on the first two charges after the ex-girlfriend recanted the allegations and the judge found no other evidence to support the charges. The weapons charge was reduced to a misdemeanor and Foster pleaded no-contest to that in June.
He was sentenced to two years' probation, 232 hours of community service, and $235 in fines.
Foster declined to discuss specifics of the case on Saturday and is just thankful to be back with his teammates on the field.
"It made me appreciate football a lot better," he said. "It was crazy knowing that football could be gone. Just being back on this field with my brothers and these coaches is a blessing."
Foster missed about a month of the offseason program while dealing with the legal issues and will also be suspended without pay for the first two games of the regular season for violating the NFL's conduct and substance-abuse policy.
He is able to take part in training camp and play the exhibition games Authentic Jeff Locke Jersey , but must sit out San Francisco's games against Minnesota and Detroit before being allowed to return on Sept. 17 before the Niners play Kansas City.
"It was painful," Foster said of the punishment. "It's football, something I do, something I love. It is what it is. Accept the consequences, you take it and you move on. You learn from it, too James Daniels Color Rush Jersey , and you grow from it."
The 49ers stood behind Foster even as he was not allowed at the facility. But coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have made clear that Foster must get his life in order and avoid further legal trouble if he wants to remain part of the organization.
"I think Reuben's done a great job just handling it," Shanahan said. "What they originally charged him with is as bad of a thing as you can imagine. It's a very embarrassing thing because of how bad it was. To have all that scrutiny on you and to have to go through that, I think would be a challenge for any human being. That would mess a lot of people up.
"I've been really, very impressed with Reuben in how he handled it, the process he went through while it was going on and after it got dropped, how he's handled himself since. I know he learned a lot through it. We talked about it a lot at the beginning Antonio Callaway Jersey Elite , that some things seem so bad but if you get through it, it can be a good thing in the long run. If you handle it right, it can enlighten you in some things and help you grow. I really think it has for Reuben and I think it's benefited him in the long run."
Foster said he appreciated the support, especially from teammates who came to court in a public show of support. One of those teammates was Richard Sherman, who barely knew Foster after signing with the team in March.
Sherman and Foster now have lockers next to each other.
"That's real. He's a man for that," Foster said of Sherman coming to court in April. "I respect Richard Sherman for that Adidas Jonathan Toews Jersey , coming to court and supporting me. Just being there for me at the hard times."
The San Jose Sharks have declined to issue a qualifying offer to defenseman Dylan DeMelo, making him an unrestricted free agent.
The Sharks announced Monday that the team gave qualifying offers to forwards Tomas Hertl and Chris Tierney. Those two will become restricted free agents in July, giving San Jose the option to match any offer from another team or get draft pick compensation.
The 25-year-old DeMelo played 63 games last season on San Jose’s third defensive pairing. He had no goals and 20 assists.
Hertl was one of San Jose’s top forwards last year with 22 goals and 24 assists. He added six goals and three assists in 10 playoff games and is in line for a long-term deal.
Tierney had career highs with 17 goals and 23 assists last season.