San Francisco 49ers fans can breathe a sigh of relief. Running back Jarryd Hayne has cleared waivers, and is now a fee agent, according to Matt Maiocco. The 49ers waived Hayne on Saturday to make room for Kendall Gaskins. Since Hayne is a rookie, he had to go through the waivers process, which provided all 31 NFL teams a chance to claim his contract.
The fact that nobody placed a claim on Hayne tells us a lot. Plenty of 49ers fans were pissed off about the decision to waive him, but clearly the rest of the league is just as unsold on Hayne as the 49ers. Hayne indicated he would likely be back with the team if he was not claimed, but clearly he has room for a lot of development.
The timing of Hayne clearing waivers makes for an interesting decision. The team's running back depth chart is abysmal right now. Carlos Hyde is dealing with a stress fracture in his foot that left him inactive in Week 8, Reggie Bush tore his ACL slipping on the concrete on the edge of the sideline at the Edward Jones Dome, and Mike Davis fractured his hand in the game.
These injuries leave Kendall Gaskins as the only healthy running back on the 49ers roster. Now that Hayne is a free agent, the 49ers could sign him back to their active roster, or sign him to the practice squad. If they are going to bring him back, my guess is once again to the 53-man roster, but we'll find out more later today or tomorrow. The team is reportedly going to work out Ben Tate on Tuesday. They worked out Pierre Thomas two weeks ago, but never signed him. The New Orleans Saints lost Khiry Robinson for the season, so they will likely be competing with the 49ers for running back depth.