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Jets add Australian rugby player to 53-man roster, cut Jason Hill

Hayden Smith AP

When the Jets signed Australian rugby player Hayden Smith six months ago, he looked like he had the raw athletic talent to play in the NFL, but still had a lot of work to do before he’d be ready to play in an NFL game. Apparently through six months of minicamps, training camp and time on the practice squad, Smith has done that work.

The Jets announced today that they’ve brought Smith up from their practice squad to the 53-man roster.

In addition to playing professional rugby, the 6-foot-6, 265-pound Smith is a former basketball player. As a football player, he has said he models himself after Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

To play in the NFL would undoubtedly be the pinnacle of my career,” Smith said early this year, when he was first exploring the possibility of playing American football. “I will do whatever it takes to make my dream a reality.”

Now it is a reality: He’s an NFL player. The fact that the Jets made the move today strongly suggests that tight end Jeff Cumberland, who is listed as questionable on this week’s injury report, will not be able to play, and Smith is likely to be active for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.

To make room on the 53-man roster for Smith, the Jets released receiver Jason Hill.

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31 Responses to “Jets add Australian rugby player to 53-man roster, cut Jason Hill”
  1. geektriumvirate says: Oct 27, 2012 5:02 PM

    the J-E-T-S are desperate

  2. pftcensorssuck says: Oct 27, 2012 5:04 PM

    Good on ya, mate!

  3. roadtrip3500 says: Oct 27, 2012 5:08 PM

    The Jets activate a guy who has never played a down of American football until this year and put him in a position (TE) that requires blitz recognition and pickup, reading coverages, improvising routes on a scramble play, and executing blocking schemes for passes and runs… on a team where they’re one injury away from playing full- time with a QB who runs the read-option.

    Good luck, mate…

  4. Duckhomie says: Oct 27, 2012 5:08 PM

    What a f***en carnival.

  5. jpb12 says: Oct 27, 2012 5:09 PM

    Drafted Sanchez and compared him to Brady.
    Now they got a Gronk.

    Often immitated… never duplicated.

  6. bayouranch says: Oct 27, 2012 5:19 PM

    yeah, i bet he becomes a star, wish my saints would have signed him to go with Graham

  7. citizenstrange says: Oct 27, 2012 5:22 PM

    I don’t get it. They already have Tebow.

  8. csilojohnson says: Oct 27, 2012 5:23 PM

    If he can learn how to run routes I see him being a beast. Giving a helmut to a rugby player is like taking the chute off a sprinter.

  9. herbertjablonski says: Oct 27, 2012 5:35 PM

    I would love to see him just punt the ball after running downfield.

  10. coltzfan166 says: Oct 27, 2012 5:48 PM

    Jason Hill now thinks the Jets are overrated again.

  11. rajbais says: Oct 27, 2012 7:00 PM

    Can they cut Aaron Maybin until he loses his “Michael Phelps” weight as well???

    Yeah!!! I’ll eat with a swimmer even though I sucked with more weight on in Buffalo!!!!!

    Swimmers do cardio and are against resistance, moron!!! That’s why they need calories!!!

    Plus, they have a 5-hour swim days for Olympic training!!!!

    This team is a joke!!!

  12. thegreatgabbert says: Oct 27, 2012 7:20 PM

    The guy who was presented to Blaine Gabbert as his #1 receiver when he came into the league, gets cut for an Aussie rugby player. Life in Gene Smith world.

  13. cabby782 says: Oct 27, 2012 7:41 PM

    Tebow to Smith TD !!!! Ya right

  14. Patskrieg dot com says: Oct 27, 2012 7:42 PM

    Said it when he was signed, and I’ll say it again…

    Somebody please deck this guy (legally) on the field so we can see him crumple and end the rugby v. American football discussion once and for all.

  15. helixir1 says: Oct 27, 2012 8:11 PM

    Awesome, they bring in a greener right before they play my Dolphins.

  16. kcp2148 says: Oct 27, 2012 8:31 PM

    Championship!!

  17. herbertjablonski says: Oct 27, 2012 8:53 PM

    he’ll be really useful when there is a scrum.

  18. 1972wasalongtimeago says: Oct 27, 2012 9:49 PM

    In 2008, the Dolphins avenged a B.S. home loss to the Jets by beating them soundly in NY, and in the process were able to end the Brett Favre Era as well as the Eric ManginiEea.

    A win tomorrow will avenge a B.S. home loss to NY, and at the same time will likely end the Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan eras as well.

    In the past 25+ years (other than 2008), every time the Dolphins have has a chance to step up and prove something in a big division game they’ve always proven the WRONG thing. Tomorrow they have a chance to prove something. They’re better than the Jets. They should beat the Jets. But they cant just say it; they have to do it. Come on guys! Do it!

  19. footballer4ever says: Oct 27, 2012 10:09 PM

    Someone insignificant said:
    “Somebody please deck this guy (legally) on the field so we can see him crumple and end the rugby v. American football discussion once and for all.”
    ——————————————————–There is no discussion to settle. Rugby players take hits without wearing any “Maxi-pads” and don’t have to get off the field every so often to take a breather or use the oxygen mask. Oh, let’s not mention the use of illegal and “legal” substances to bulk up and for endurance. Enough said.

  20. djcologne says: Oct 27, 2012 10:15 PM

    What’s next? The Bearded Lady OT, Siamese Twins WR, Elephant Man RB…..it’s a carny freak show over there…..

  21. NakedCowboy! says: Oct 27, 2012 10:44 PM

    it would be helpful to know what position he would play at… there is a mention to gronk so i am guessing its TE…

  22. deertay says: Oct 27, 2012 10:48 PM

    The two sports can not be compared. Totally different rules as far as ball movement and player positioning. Anybody can get blasted in football,regardless of if they’re holding the ball.

  23. freddavisbong says: Oct 27, 2012 10:58 PM

    Wasn’t Gates a basketball player before becoming a tight end? I’m no Jets fan but you can’t teach size. Good luck, Hayden.

  24. dlk47823 says: Oct 28, 2012 12:14 AM

    1972- The Dolphins are not as good as the Jets and Sanchez will have a big day in the air just like the 1st one. Jets have found their running game and the secondary has adjusted well to the loss of Revis. Mia will have 2 div losses to NY and the Jets will move to 3-1 in the division. NY 24-13.

  25. igotgamenj says: Oct 28, 2012 12:36 AM

    Won’t stop Bush, Miami’s O line to good and way to strong..Jets will also be out coached BIGTIME .. oh yea good luck trying to run on Miami’s D LINE Miami Wins

  26. all32 says: Oct 28, 2012 3:19 AM

    Why! This is not a team its a reality show. Get out of the NFL and move to Brovo, women will care and men can move on…

  27. badintent says: Oct 28, 2012 4:26 AM

    No Kevlar pads, no extra pads, no pads period in Aussie rules. Tougher than NFL guys and a lot smarter, never hear about them getting sent to jail for wire fraud, dog killing,head slamming finance, etc. Betcha the guy is a freak and turns into another Tony Gonzalez.

  28. namaths5thofwhiskey says: Oct 28, 2012 8:43 AM

    Cant wait!

  29. bla bla bla says: Oct 28, 2012 8:50 AM

    Vrajbais says:
    Oct 27, 2012 7:00 PM
    Can they cut Aaron Maybin until he loses his “Michael Phelps” weight as well???

    Yeah!!! I’ll eat with a swimmer even though I sucked with more weight on in Buffalo!!!!!

    Swimmers do cardio and are against resistance, moron!!! That’s why they need calories!!!

    Plus, they have a 5-hour swim days for Olympic training!!!!

    This team is a joke!!!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

    You may have some valid points there, but all of the exclamation points kill it.

  30. cswenson218 says: Oct 28, 2012 9:08 AM

    What’s next? The Bearded Lady OT, Siamese Twins WR, Elephant Man RB…..it’s a carny freak show over there…..

    Rumor is they are pursuing former South Central Louisiana State University star Bobby Boucher, who still holds the NCAA single game sack record.

  31. drdaryl1 says: Oct 29, 2012 10:50 AM

    Australian Rugby player?? Did you do any research?? Hayden is from Australia but he was a basketball player that came over to the states to play college basketball in Colorado. After completing college, his friends talked him into taking up rugby. Eventually he became a starter for the USA Eagleas (US National Team) and represented the USA in the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He had been playing professionally with the Saracens in England’s Aviva Premiership.

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