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

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.

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

  1. 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…

  2. 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!!!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

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

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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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