The San Francisco 49ers waived Jarryd Hayne two weeks ago, and subsequently signed him to their practice squad in advance of Week 9. Given how the team has handled injuries at the running back position, odds are pretty good Hayne will spend the rest of this season on the practice squad.
When the season ends, the 49ers will likely sign Hayne to a reserve/future contract, which essentially gets him signed through the offseason workout program and training camp. It remains to be seen what his future is with the 49ers, but his inclusion on the practice squad likely means at least one more year of opportunity.
I recently came across a radio interview featuring the sports editor for the Daily Telegraph in Sydney, Australia. The host asked the editor, Buzz Rothfield, what the latest was with Hayne. Rothfield had this to say earlier today:
I'm hearing he will be back in the NRL next year. I'm hearing that he will come home for Christmas. He's got no football until August, for trials with San Francisco. I can tell you that the biggest spending clubs in the NRL have their checkbooks poised. They've spoken already to his manager, Wayne Bevis, and I've just got a feeling when he comes home for Christmas, that he will be staying in Sydney and playing NRL next year.
So the NFL gridiron dream is over?
Look, I can't say that officially because I haven't spoken to Jarryd about it. Look, he's not one to chuck in the towel. I can't see an athlete like him sitting around, not playing any sport until August next year. I think the Sydney NRL clubs will make offers, seriously, too good to refuse.
Rothfield followed that up with this article talking about potential competition for Hayne's services. Two NRL executives confirmed to Rothfield that they would bid for Hayne's services, should he return to the league. Neither thinks it is a sure thing he returns, but they are prepared for if he does.
It is the latter answer in the quotation above that is intriguing. The NRL season appears to run from early March to early October. I imagine the 49ers would have to give him permission to play rugby during the offseason, but Hayne would not be the first professional athlete to play a second sport in the offseason of football. Of course, when guys like Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson did it, they played baseball, which is not nearly as physically taxing as rugby.
The editor does not seem to be aware of the offseason workout program that runs from April to early June, which would cut into the NRL season quite significantly. Hayne has seemingly made it clear that he is not ready to give up on his NFL dream, but we'll want to see what happens in the coming offseason.