He started out in Sydney’s golden west, and in one of the most remarkable stories in Australian sport, former Parramatta Eels star Jarryd Hayne is now heading to the Golden Gate to chase his NFL dream after signing with the San Francisco 49ers.
Jarryd Hayne’s Journy
“It’s about believing in making the impossible, possible,” Hayne said in a press conference.
“It is one thing talking about it, another doing it.”
The 2014 Dally M medalist agreed to a futures contract with the NFL franchise, worth a minimum of $100,000. He will join a 90 man practice squad in April and look to impress the coaching staff, because that 90 will be cut down to 53.
The former fullback will be seen as a running back going into the 2015 NFL season, but the 27 year old has said that he is willing to try out in other positions, such as punt return and kick off return.
The 49ers were never really in the picture for Hayne’s signature until late in the piece. Prior to them, it seemingly was between the Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks, but given that 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula has had previous experience with Rugby players, the choice was pretty simple for Hayne.
The former star NRL player has said that getting this far already is a success and that anything else will be seen as extra.
“For me, just making this decision and stepping out, I feel like I have already won.
“I have already accomplished movement in myself. Whatever happens from here is a bonus.”
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers finished 8-8 and out of the playoffs for the first time in four years, dealing with injuries to several key defensive stars. San Francisco had reached the three previous NFC championship games and lost in the Super Bowl following the 2012 season. Hayne will have an opportunity to play for promoted defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, named 49ers head coach in January, as former coach Jim Harbaugh departed to coach his college alma mater, Michigan, after the season ended.
Hayne’s career change has received support from his former team-mates on the Parramatta Eels, as well as other athletes who’ve crossed the pond to pursue professional sports in the United States, such as the Golden State Warriors Andrew Bogut who’s currently playing in the Bay Area himself.
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