The San Francisco 49ers waived Jarryd Hayne Saturday afternoon, replacing him on the roster with practice squad running back Kendall Gaskins. The move was surprising to many, but it does seem the team has some options in mind.
The 49ers can sign Hayne to their practice squad, but he must first clear waivers. All 31 teams can place a claim on him, but if none do, Hayne becomes a free agent. In waiving Hayne on Saturday, the 49ers might be able to slip him through waivers. Hayne's agent posted this on Twitter:
when teams waive a player on a Sat its usually a sign they r trying 2 sneak them thru waivers. harder 4 others 2 make claim over the weekend— jack bechta (@jackbechta) October 31, 2015
I don't know exactly how weekend waivers works. They do run Saturday afternoon, but I do not think they run on Sunday. I am not positive, but I believe that is the case. I don't know exactly how they would then sneak him through waivers if they don't run again until Monday, but that is what Bechta indicated with this tweet. I replied asking for more details, so we'll see what he says.
It seems like Hayne and the front office have discussed his potential future with the team. After the news came out that the team had waived Hayne, he tweeted this:
Blessed for another test. Thanks for the love TW. Wish my guys all the best against the Rams. if nothing happens Ill be back on Tuesday✌
— jarryd hayne (@JarrydHayne) October 31, 2015
And so, we will wait and see if Hayne is claimed off waivers. There are several teams that could use help in the return game, and might be willing to take some time with him in learning his skills as a running back. Some quality teams with issues in the punt return game include the Denver Broncos (No. 29 in punt return average), Arizona (No. 27), Green Bay Packers (No. 26), and New York Giants (No. 24). These are just a handful of the teams that could find some use for Hayne.
It is entirely possible Hayne clears waivers and is back with the 49ers next week on the practice squad. His fumbles and work as a running back need to improve, but given his potential as a playmaking punt returner, I would think someone out there would try and claim him. It will suck to see him elsewhere, but I am fascinated to see if he is in fact claimed.