A veteran who started nearly 60 games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the last four seasons, Mason Foster provides the Redskins with a veteran inside linebacker and special teamer.
In the weeks following his release from the Chicago Bears, veteran linebacker Mason Foster, at 26 years old, knew he still had plenty of life left in his NFL career.
The Washington Redskins on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, announced the signing of linebacker Mason Foster. Take a look at his NFL career in photos.
At any given moment, a team in need was going to reach out.
That team was the Washington Redskins and the moment came on Tuesday when the organization announced his signing.
"My biggest thing is stand positive and keep learning," Foster told Redskins.com. "So I learned a lot over the last four, five years. Even though I'm only 26, I feel like I know a lot, I feel like an old head a little bit. I've been around a little bit so, just keep learning, keep being positive and do what you can to help teams win."
During those weeks between his release from the Bears – which happened on Sept 5. – and his signing, Foster worked with his fraternity brother and former college teammate Matt Houston, assistant strength and conditioning coach at the University of South Dakota.
"I went out there and went through a crazy workout program and it paid off," he said. "I feel great coming out here when I had to work out and I was ready to play."
Foster started his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a third-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Like the rest of his first-year teammates that year, Foster wasn't allowed to do any sort of offseason activity with the team as the NFL and the players were in a lockout.
Resolved before the start of training camp, Foster was able to prove his ability, eventually starting 15 games that season.
In four seasons in Tampa Bay, Foster would amass 343 tackles with 12 passes defensed, six sacks, five interceptions, two touchdowns and two fumbles forced.
"We had great coaches, so the older guys took me in, learned it, found me a spot, and started ever since and had good games," Foster said. "I felt like I was on the path. I was doing everything right and I got hurt my last year. I ended up in Chicago in free agency. Spent the whole offseason there, camp, everything was fun, learned a lot, great coaches. No hard feelings there at all, but it's a part of the game."
Foster describes himself as a "high-motor" player with "really good instincts."
"I always felt like I was a natural linebacker since I was four, five years old," he said. "I just really love football, that's the biggest thing. I'm real passionate about the game and I love to play football. I'm a team player, so you're going to see me with a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of passion out there, flying around, that's what I try to do, sideline to sideline."
With Perry Riley Jr.'s status for Sunday still undetermined as he continues to deal with a calf injury, Foster was a needed asset for both the defense and special teams this weekend and beyond.
"We needed another inside backer to play in case something happened to Keenan [Robinson] or [Will] Compton," said head coach Jay Gruden. "A veteran guy like that that's on the streets that can come in and help us not only on defense in a pinch but also on special teams. He's done a lot of work on special teams and is going to be an asset for us in that role, especially on punt protection. It was a no-brainer for us."