Four years since last playing, Reuben Foster gets a workout with the Seahawks

For some former 49ers, an extended absence from the playing field becomes a convenient excuse for not giving him a look-see. For other former 49ers, it’s not an issue.

Linebacker Reuben Foster, a first-round pick of the 49ers in 2017, will have a tryout on Sunday with the Seahawks, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. Foster hasn’t played in a regular-season game since October 28, 2018.

The 49ers cut Foster in November 2018 after a domestic-violence arrest, his latest off-field issue. Washington claimed him on waivers, to much criticism given the recent arrest. (The charges later were dismissed.) The following May, Foster suffered a torn ACL during offseason workouts. The knee injury wiped out both 2019 and 2020. He didn’t play in 2021.

It’s a long road back to the NFL for Foster, who at one point was regarded as a top-five pick before falling to the bottom of the round. The 49ers acquired Foster after trading up from No. 34 to No. 31 with, coincidentally, the Seahawks.

It could have been even worse for the 49ers, who were ready to make Foster a top-five pick. If the Bears had taken defensive lineman Solomon Thomas with the No. 2 selection after swinging a deal with the 49ers, who slid back to No. 3, the 49ers would have taken Foster with the third overall pick in the 2017 draft.

Not Patrick Mahomes. Not Deshaun Watson. Not Christian McCaffrey.

Yes, it was a disaster of a draft for the 49ers, with one exception — a certain tight end from Iowa who was somehow available with the 146th overall selection and who is pictured with Foster.