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49ers GM John Lynch: Releasing Reuben Foster was 'an Organizational Decision'

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch met with reporters at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday ahead of the team's Week 12 road game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Lynch spoke about the 49ers decision to release linebacker Reuben Foster following an arrest surrounding domestic abuse on Saturday evening. San Francisco issued a release on Sunday morning, announcing that the team was parting ways with Foster.

"We laid out some very specific ground rules for Reuben as we do for all of our players," Lynch said in his opening remarks. "We have a set of standards in place that the players were involved with in developing. In this case it was communicated exceptionally clear to the point of what we expected out of him."

Lynch didn't delve into specifics regarding the situation out of respect to the ongoing investigation.

"This isn't a comment on what happened (yesterday), because that would be mere speculation on our part," Lynch said. "It's more of a comment on him not living up to what we communicated and the time and energy that we invested into him. It doesn't mean that we don't love him, we all do, but it's in the best interest of our organization to move on at this point. That's a very tough decision. I want to be very clear that this is an organizational decision."

The arrest took place at the team hotel in Tampa Bay. Lynch has yet to speak to Foster. The GM added that things transpired away from the designated players floors within the hotel. Those floors are heavily secured with around-the-clock police presence.

Foster had missed the team's previous two games with a hamstring injury and was listed as questionable to play against the Bucs. He played in six games in 2018 and totaled 29 tackles.

When asked about the decision to trade up and select Foster with a first-round pick in 2017, Lynch said that he has no regrets.

"I don't. I think we learn from it," Lynch said. "You have to learn from every situation. Ultimately these guys are human beings and they're young men. They're fallible. We have to learn from the process that we have, and we will. (At the same time), you can't play scared. You have to trust your evaluation."

The entire team was addressed in the locker room on Sunday morning. Lynch said it would be up to Kyle Shanahan if he wanted to take those conversations any further. Malcolm Smith will start at WILL linebacker in place of Foster.

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