San Francisco 49ers Sign Aussie Rugby League MVP to Futures Contract

Australia National Rugby League MVP Jarryd Hayne signs with NFL team!

Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne announced Monday that he has signed with the San Francisco 49ers.

Hayne, who recently turned 27, is a former MVP of the National Rugby League who quit the sport in October to pursue a NFL career. He was believed to be expected to sign a futures contract with the Detroit Lions, however the Sydney Morning Herald reports the “lifestyle” of San Francisco as compared to Detroit factored into his decision to choose the 49ers.

In October, former Lions running back Reggie Bush said he believed Hayne has the skills to play in the NFL.

“I just think he’s a good athlete,” Bush said, according to the Detroit Free Press. “I’ve seen some of his film, I watched him and he has all the skill sets that it takes to play in the NFL. He’s a great athlete and I told him I definitely think he has a future in the NFL if he’s serious about it.”

According to the Morning Herald, Hayne recorded 4.53 seconds in the 40-yard dash at his pro day in December.

Futures contracts can be signed as soon as the previous regular season has concluded and count only against a team’s 90-man training camp roster limit for the following season. Any player not on a NFL active roster when the previous regular season ended is eligible to sign a futures contract.

While everyone who went to the combine now is gearing up for a pro day, Hayne already has had his version, on Dec. 5 in San Diego, in front of representatives from 16 NFL teams. Hayne measured in at 6-foot-2 and 226 pounds, and ran the 40-yard dash somewhere in the low 4.5 range (his clockings were hand-held). He also went through drills run by former NFL running backs coach Clarence Shelmon.

His 40 time matched up well with most of those posted by running backs at the combine.

Hayne, 27, was a two-time winner of the National Rugby League player of the year award.

Former New York Jets tight end Hayden Smith has returned to rugby in Australia after quitting the sport for a chance to try his hand at the NFL. He caught one pass during his only season with the Jets in 2012.

Source: [email protected].

Twitter: @MikeHuguenin.


John McKeon is a former professional and collegiate American Football player and coach now living and working in New York. His goal is to spread news, information, and opinion on the global growth of the sport he loves.