What began as a pipe dream for Hayne of playing grid iron is closer to reality than ever with six NFL clubs chasing the NRL star, including the Detroit Lions after a personal recommendation from superstar Reggie Bush.
Bush, one of the NFL’s most recognised running backs whose current deal with Detroit is worth $16 million, has paved the way for Hayne to earn a prized contract in the US.
On the back of Bush’s glowing appraisal of Hayne, the former Parramatta Eels ace has been offered a train-and-trial deal with NFL heavyweights Detroit.
How much the deal is worth remains a closely guarded secret by Hayne and his management.
Bush, the one-time boyfriend of TV celebrity Kim Kardashian, met Hayne for the first time during a promotional trip to Australia in June, staying in Sydney to watch the NSW fullback help clinch the State of Origin series with the Blues at ANZ Stadium.
Bush said during his visit that Hayne could play in the NFL immediately if he ever chose to switch sports.
“He actually looks like an NFL running back,’’ Bush said. “Looks like he could come play with us tomorrow.
“He’s fast, strong and ... wow. Look at that hit. That’s an NFL football hit. I like this guy.”
The relationship between Hayne and Bush has continued to develop over the past four months, with their bond resulting in an email offer from the Detroit Lions management landing in the inbox of Hayne’s long-standing agent Wayne Beavis just 48-hours after the Eels fullback declared he was quitting the NRL on Wednesday.
Such has been the interest in Hayne from US scouts that Beavis has remained awake until 3am to field emails ever since his client dropped rugby league’s biggest bombshell of the year.
While the five other clubs interested in giving Hayne his shot of a lifetime remain unconfirmed, Superbowl champions the Seattle Seahawks, whom Hayne met in person three weeks ago when he visited their training facilities as part of a study tour in the US, are also believed to be one of the organisations interested in providing the 26-year-old with a chance to fulfil his dream.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll described Hayne as “an incredible athlete” but remained coy when quizzed by reporters last Thursday about the prospect of the Australian landing a trial opportunity with Seattle.
“Our scout Down Under has been on this for some time now,” Carroll said. “But he’s an incredible athlete and a great competitor, so we’ll see where it goes.
“I’m afraid to mention anything because I’m not sure of the rights things and contract issues down there.
“We’ll leave that up to [Seahawks general manager John Schneider] to figure out.”
Adding to the intrigue was a move that shocked the NFL yesterday, Seahawks explosive receiver and return man Percy Harvin, a position which Hayne will attempt to make his own, was traded to the New York Jets.
Hayne will fly to the US tonight, jetting into Los Angeles, where he’ll spend the next month transforming his body shape and developing his speed while assessing his options.
Hayne has given himself a timeline of 12-months to decide if his bid to make it in the NFL is possible.
Beavis said his advice to Hayne was to be patient and resist rushing into a decision on which club or clubs he should join.
“I’ve told Jarryd to take a breath and consider his options, with the focus on choosing a club that will allow him to work with the right coaches, who will enable him the best chance to succeed,” Beavis said.
By David Riccio | dailytelegraph.com | October 18, 2014