Fooch's Update: He got $100,000 guaranteed on the deal.
The San Francisco 49ers have added one more player to their roster. The team will sign Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne to what the Sydney Morning Herald described as a reserve/future contract. The decision comes a little over a week after one report had Hayne planning on signing with the Detroit Lions. Something apparently changed since then, and now Hayne will join the 49ers in the coming weeks.
If it is indeed a reserve/future contract, it will allow Hayne to join the team for the offseason workout program and get a shot in training camp to earn a roster spot. He is not guaranteed a roster spot, and unless he got a signing bonus, he is not even guaranteed a salary.
Hayne retired from the National Rugby League after the 2014 season, with plans on heading to America to compete in the NFL. He turned 27 last month, so he does not exactly have a ton of time to develop. I'll have more details tomorrow about his time in NRL, but some basic stuff: he played fullback, which involved catching punt-like balls. I suspect he will enter the league primarily as a punt and kick returner. Apparently NRL does not allow blocking by people in front of him, so he will need to learn more about reading his blockers and finding open lanes.
There has also been talk he wants to play some running back. He could get some work there as well, but his best shot at earning a roster spot this year, or maybe even next year would be as a return man. No job in the NFL is easy, but it provides potentially the quickest transfer of his rugby league skills. Now it's time for Hayne to get to work.