Jarryd Hayne giving up football to return to rugby

AP

49ers executive Paraag Marathe said recently that he expected running back/punt returner Jarryd Hayne to make a jump in his second NFL season.

Hayne is making a jump, but it isn’t the on-field one that Marathe was talking about. Hayne announced Sunday that he is leaving the 49ers and professional football to return to rugby with the Fiji team at the Olympics in Rio this summer. Hayne was a professional rugby player in Australia before joining the 49ers last season.

“I am retiring from the NFL because the Fiji Rugby Sevens team reached out to me about the opportunity to join the team for the upcoming Olympics, and I simply could not pass that chance up. The Olympics has been something I have admired since I was a little boy, and it is an opportunity I feel very similar to me joining the NFL,” Hayne said in a statement.

“The 49ers organization has been incredibly supportive throughout my journey and I cannot thank them and the support staff enough. I am especially grateful to the strength and conditioning coaches, trainers and medical staff, equipment guys, public relations crew, chefs, logistics, and merchandise staff for their countless hours helping me in many different ways, so I could focus on football. Thank you to the fans from down under, as well as those around the world, who stood behind me and supported me along this amazing journey. I also want to thank the boys, especially my running back brothers, for their help and support in my transition to the NFL. I wish the team nothing but the best for the upcoming season.”

In a statement of his own, 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke called Hayne a “tremendous example of what can happen when you commit to a goal and do everything in your power to make it a reality.” Hayne ran 17 times for 52 yards, caught six passes for 27 yards and returned eight punts in his lone NFL season.

65 responses to “Jarryd Hayne giving up football to return to rugby

  1. When someone no one has ever heard of quits football after one year is it really that big of a deal?

  2. Well,that was short lived I really thought we was gonna get though this offseason without a player still in his prime to retire. However he was an average player at best I was very curious,of what kinda leap he could make in his second year. Thing is olympics takes what 2-3 years? So with him being 29 or 30 already this was his last chance to be a significant NFL player. He will be to old for anyone to look at once he completes the Olympics. But it was fun having all the support from another country because of him. I am not bitter and do wish him luck and hope he gets his gold medal.

  3. Good he should focus on rugby.
    Maybe now we can put to rest this idea that rugby players would make good american football players.
    There is just too much strategy and talent for guys who only have to run forward and be able lateral backwards in rugby.

    …but they have big thighs and they don’t wear pads so they’re tougher, right?

  4. He achieved fame on the other side of the world as a professional rugby player.

    Realized his dream of playing in the NFL (an opportunity millions of Americans would kill for, but will never have).

    And now he has a chance to compete in the Olympics.

    That’s quite a life to have lived before 30.

  5. It’s been an interesting storyline, but Jarryd Hayne is better off playing in the Olympics in a sport that he is great at, than being a third stringer in a sport where he’s more of a publicity stunt than a serious prospect.

  6. shadowman1433 says:
    May 15, 2016 1:19 PM
    When someone no one has ever heard of quits football after one year is it really that big of a deal?
    ————-

    If you follow the NFL, you’ve heard of him, but only due to the media coverage because of his transition. He was all over the “news” when he decided to try the NFL, when SF signed him, when he made the team, when he was cut, when he made the PS, when he was called back up, and when he was trying to make the team again this year.

    I don’t think he had much of a chance to make the team this year. Think about how much he played last year, especially after Reggie Bush got hurt. The team was going nowhere and no running backs and he still couldn’t carve out a role.

  7. @shadowman…

    Apparently so. Got you to click and even post one of the first comments only 7 minutes after the story was posted.

  8. “Football is so easy any non American can do it”

    Aussies have some explaining to do after all that trash they were talking this time last year.

  9. What’s going on in San Fran? they have to lead the league in early retirements, this is what like the 6th in the last 3 yrs…..

  10. Only SF would make a big deal over a player with those numbers. Normally, that wouldn’t get you out of training camp.

  11. Never knew why Hayne got so much airtime. A few Aussie players coming through (like Gotsis) that have much more chance of actually having an impact. Hayne wasn’t the best player in Rugby League (he was good, but not the best), and was terrible at the terrible 49ers.

  12. Wise choice Mate, you didn’t have a chance in the NFL, maybe Aussie rules but not the NFL

  13. I never understood his need to play in the NFL. Guy dominated his sport in Oz, he didn’t grow up watching the NFL or anything. Dumb idea.

  14. Smart man for wanting off of a sinking ship with captain Chipper running the show! I’d be shocked if the whiners AREN’T picking 1st overall next year in 2017 NFL draft..

  15. I really respect what Jarryd Hayne has done. I also think it says a lot about how amazing the athletes in the NFL are–among the thousand or so most athletic humans anywhere.

  16. true9erfan66 says:
    May 15, 2016 1:19 PM
    Well,that was short lived I really thought we was gonna get though this offseason without a player still in his prime to retire. However he was an average player at best I was very curious,of what kinda leap he could make in his second year. Thing is olympics takes what 2-3 years? So with him being 29 or 30 already this was his last chance to be a significant NFL player. He will be to old for anyone to look at once he completes the Olympics. But it was fun having all the support from another country because of him. I am not bitter and do wish him luck and hope he gets his gold medal.
    ………………….
    Not a big rugby fan but I beleive the USA have a pretty good sevens team maybe you would hope they bring home the bacon before the another. Unless of course your not American or couldn’t care less. Just saying.

  17. jvw1982 says:
    May 15, 2016 1:56 PM

    What’s going on in San Fran? they have to lead the league in early retirements, this is what like the 6th in the last 3 yrs…..
    ——————–

    Well, they fired the best head coach they have had in years, who had taken them numerous conference championships and a Super Bowl, and then hired a guy that wasn’t qualified to be a head coach at all, only to fire him after one season.

    Then they hired Chip Kelly.

    Even the Browns aren’t that dysfunctional.

  18. I give Hayne one whole heck of a lot of credit. With no experience playing our game, he showed the courage, heart and intrepidity to try and compete in a very violent and competitive sport played at the highest level.

    He didn’t try out for a junior college team. Despite a myriad of lucrative alternatives, Hayne signed on for a real go in a league where the Kam Chancellors and Deone Bucannons blow people up.

    Hayne was also a model teammate both on the field and off.

    Much respect to Jarryd Hayne from this Yank.

    And as to his armchair critics, Teddy Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena” comes to mind. They should try giving that a serious read.

  19. Thanking the training and athletic staffs was the right move. After all, he got paid good money to train with professionals, play minimal football, and be in the best shape of his life, all in time for the Olympics. Shocking.

  20. That whole franchise should find another sport. They can’t win in this century and their so called “faithful” can’t endure more than about two quarters of watching them before they hit the exits. It’s over, has been since Steve Young got his bell rung for the fifth time.

  21. He’s heading back to rugby with his tail between his legs. The greatest athletes in the world are in the NFL, and even Australia’s greatest rugby player couldn’t even make a dent in the NFL.

  22. The Snake says:
    May 15, 2016 1:39 PM
    He isn’t really leaving professional football, just leaving the 49ers

    48 14
    Report comment

    ….Coming from a Raiders fan most likely I find that highly amusing…

  23. I understand that he said he’s sorry that he didn’t sign with the Lions when he originally had the chance. He thought that he’d have a better chance sticking in the NFL with the 49ers and that San Francisco was a lot closer to home. Wish him good luck.

  24. He was great in preseason but seemed timid once the real games began

    Great athlete with unreal balance and agility and I think he could be a great return man in the NFL once he got comfortable

    And its always great seeing Seadoves bandwagon fans talk trash with their one year dynasty, 1-2 record in the big game, Lynch quitting, and being in denial over the absolute fact that Sherman is getting burned more than ever.

    Seriously, look at your teams’ history before you talk trash.

    You’re nothing

  25. Another example of the Bay Area media, the 49ers and their fans blowing a player up to faulty levels that only they actually believe. Does anyone want to play for this dumpster fire of an organization? Players quitting, wanting to get traded, fans trying to sell their existing balances on their PSLs, team executives flip flopping, and unable to sign any quality free agents. Your Santa Clara 49ers!

  26. Franchise caught violating the cap which is how they cheated to win SB’s.

    And Pats not any better.

    Both scum organizations.

  27. He probably got tired of all the, ahem, “parades” they have in the bay area.

  28. raiderrob21 says:
    May 15, 2016 4:34 PM
    Another example of the Bay Area media, the 49ers and their fans blowing a player up to faulty levels that only they actually believe. Does anyone want to play for this dumpster fire of an organization? Players quitting, wanting to get traded, fans trying to sell their existing balances on their PSLs, team executives flip flopping, and unable to sign any quality free agents. Your Santa Clara 49ers!

    1 1
    ….,,,A RAIDER fan calling another franchise a dumpster fire organization………..priceless

    Raiders have sucked continuously since 2002.. My son was 1 year old then and now is almost in college….

  29. Jarryd was a very great rugby league player back in Sydney but he wasn’t quite good enough to make it in the NFL. Full marks for following his dream and trying. Best wishes for future success at the Olympics.

  30. The last two sentences of this story are comedy gold. Subtle, but brutal. Nicely done.

    Hayne made one key mistake in his transition to the NFL: He picked the wrong team.

  31. Seahawks fan, but was always intrigued to see how Hayne would work out. He’d visited Seattle and I was hoping we’d give him a go. Bummed that he went to SF, but I still rooted for him to be successful.

    It’s unfortunate that SF imploded. If I were him and had the choice of playing for the current Niners or going to the Olympics… well, not much of a debate there, is there?

    Unfortunate so many are throwing shade at him for his choice. How many of you, in the same situation, would pass up the Olympics for a chance at playing with the 49ers right now? A couple years ago with Harbaugh? Yes, the possibility of a SB ring would be hard to resist. But now? I don’t know anyone in their right mind that would make a different decision than the one Hayne just made.

    Much respect, sir! Carry on and good luck!

  32. cornerstone2001 says:
    May 15, 2016 3:52 PM
    The Snake says:
    May 15, 2016 1:39 PM
    He isn’t really leaving professional football, just leaving the 49ers

    48 14
    Report comment

    ….Coming from a Raiders fan most likely I find that highly amusing…

    You’ll be ok little cornerstone2001. Nobody has it better, right? ha!

  33. They cut him last year and he went to the practice squad. At that point he could have joined any team, so not logical to say his quitting the NFL has any connection to the 49ers organization. He actually had a few offers when he came to the US and he chose the 49ers, and that was after the Harbaugh departure. I know it makes for a humorous punchline with the dumpster fire comments, but that is kind of getting tired by now and is actually inconsistent with the details of this situation.

  34. except there are only going to be three countries at the Olympics because every country with common sense will not be attending because of the Zika virus. So he cancelled his NFL career to go to an olympics that will end up being cancelled before it ever starts.

  35. “He’s heading back to rugby with his tail between his legs. The greatest athletes in the world are in the NFL, and even Australia’s greatest rugby player couldn’t even make a dent in the NFL.”

    I like NFL but the best athletes are in Rugby League, An NFL player wouldnt last 5 minutes playing Rugby League. You need to have more than one skillset in the NRL. Run, Pass, Kick, have anerobic and aerobic at once have your own strategy on the fly and tackle and have some endurance. All due respect you have no idea what your talking about, at least I watch both games and can comment with some knowledge. Hayne is a great athlete and there are many like him in the NRL over in Australia. The NRL is not rugby, rugby is soft they cant tackle in rugby, all NRL players tackle hard and play hard. Haynes opportunity was limited but No more or less than other rookies but I know if he had a real chance he would have kicked ass. Its a shame because his pre season is what he is capable of. And that was with ZERO experience. Never having played the game once even as a kid and made the 53. Out of 300 million Americans. It was a start but he would have done more. And Hayne isnt the best rugby League Player by a long shot.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.