Jed York may be a fan of Reuben Foster’s but even he is willing to admit the former Alabama linebacker had to go.

During a recent interview with KNBR’s Jacob Hutchinson, the San Francisco CEO explained how the current 49ers organization took a major step forward by releasing Foster following the linebacker’s arrest following domestic violence allegations.

Keep in mind, while it’s incredibly easy to look back now and say the 49ers made the right decision on Foster, this news came not long after GM John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan were hired in San Francisco. How many teams would release a player of Foster’s potential soon after selecting him with a first-round pick?

Realistically, that number may not be as high as some would imagine.

According to York, the decision to walk away from Foster is one that shaped the culture in San Francisco and led the 49ers down the path to reaching the latest Super Bowl.

“I think a great example is Reuben. I love Reuben. Like, I wish that Reuben was still here. We gave Reuben opportunities, we’ve given a lot of guys opportunities, but we set our limit and said, ‘If he can’t fix this, have to move on from a talented player.’

“I don’t know that that would have been the case with every other coach or every other general manager, not just here, but across the league because it’s hard to give up on talent. And I think that, to me, is one of the defining moments of John and Kyle of being able to say, ‘This was a first-round pick in our first year and we moved on from it, and it was hard.’

“We could have justified not moving on from it. There are other people that have been in worse situations than what Reuben was in. But we knew where we had to be and I think that to me, you look at a defining moment for those guys, I think that’s a defining moment for the culture of this team of we are team first. And we are we got your back first.”

Given the red flags surrounding Foster as he entered the NFL, the 49ers gave him an opportunity to turn things around once he entered the league. Unfortunately, that opportunity was not taken advantage of in San Francisco as Foster now suits up for the Washington Redskins.