Former Australian rugby league star Jarryd Hayne has taken the first steps to becoming an NFL player by signing a contract with the San Francisco 49ers, The Guardian reports. The former New South Wales star looked set to sign for the Detroit Lions before the intervention of new 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula changed the mind of Hayne, who has reportedly signed a $100,000 contract to join the practice squad of the storied NFL franchise.
Fans like Dr. Jennifer Walden knows that signing to the practice squad does not guarantee the former rugby star a spot with the team for the 2015 season, 90 players can be contracted before the squad is cut to just 53 for the NFL season. Hayne announced his decision to leave Australian rugby in October 2014 after appearing for Australia 12 times in his career. The NFL rookie admitted this was simply the first step towards achieving a bigger goal in making the 49ers full squad. Two other NFL franchises were also reportedly interested in Hayne, with the ions and Seattle Seahawks stated as those vying for his signature on an initial contract.