Hayne Plane Lands in San Francisco but will it Take Off in the NFL?
March 03, 2015
After circling a few NFL clubs the Hayne Plane has finally landed on the runway at San Francisco. Handed a Rookie Contract by the 49ers the former NRL superstar now has around 4 months to prove he can make it in one of America’s most treasured sports. So will the Hayne Plane take off in the USA or will he be grounded when the NFL season gets underway in September?
Hayne has his Chance
The Detroit Lions and San Diego Chargers also showed interest in Hayne however it was San Francisco who got their man with a guaranteed US$100,000 contract. What’s not guaranteed is Hayne making the final squad for the 2015/16 season. His Rookie Contract has given him a spot on the 49ers 90 man roster which will be cut to 53 players before their campaign kicks off. Hayne will return to America later this week before beginning training with San Francisco on April 10. He’ll have around 20 weeks to show the coaching staff he’s capable of contributing in the NFL.
Former First Pick to Fight for his Spot
Once Parramatta’s first name on the team sheet; Jarryd Hayne will now compete for a positon as a return man and running back in the 49ers attacking team. The former fullback returned the ball with plenty of interest in the NRL and it’s something he’ll be expected to do once again. His fleet of foot, evasive ability and agility will work for him, as will his physical and mental toughness. At 6-foot-2 and 226 pounds Hayne has the physique to handle himself, while a 4.53 second 40-yard dash in a December workout showed he also has the speed. Hayne though faces fierce competition for spots in the 49ers backfield.
Jarryd Jumping in the Deep End
You’ve got to hand it to Hayne for having the heart to pursue his dream but the enormity of the task hasn’t been lost on the New South Welshman, with the 27 year old admitting he’s taking a “huge risk and a massive leap of faith”. While the experience is entirely new for the ex Parramatta, Blues and Kangaroos star, his new coach has seen similar scenarios. San Francisco head coach Jim Tomsula spent several years coaching NFL in Europe and worked with rugby union players. It’s an added bonus as Hayne attempts to make the tough transition.
Signing with San Francisco is a small step towards success but Hayne has huge strides to take before he achieves his goal of playing in the NFL. While most of the rugby league world wishes him well on his adventure, many wouldn’t be disappointed to see the Hayne Plane return to our game if he hits turbulence in America.