Former NRL superstar and Parramatta identity, Jarryd Hayne, has announced that he has signed a Futures Deal with NFL franchise San Francisco 49ers.
In a press conference in Sydney today, Hayne revealed he is expected to join the side as a developmental running back. However, he did cite initial concerns about heading to the 49ers, given the coaching speculation surrounding former head coach Jim Harbaugh.
The next step involves a 16-20 week training program, at which point the 49ers will assess Hayne’s progress and make a decision regarding his potential playing future from there.
On top of the strict training regime, Hayne has also confirmed another challenge that lays ahead of him.
The sportstar has outlined a gruelling two-month “assimilation” process. One that will see him adapting his lifestyle, personality and diet to suit the nation he is preparing to call home.
Hayne has spoken about the challenges he faces while trying to eat, speak and live like an American.
“I have been smashing the Maccas, Chucky Cheese, Taco Bell and all the other fast food shit. It’s hard to keep fit and eat like this, but I think it’s the least I can do. I need to respect the ways of my new neighbours”
Hayne has said that while Australian and America both share a lot in common, there are delicate intricacies surrounding the culture of American people. One particularly important aspect to American life is the vocal references to God and Christianity, something that Hayne has proven to be very capable of.
I’m the worst christian I know but still gods favour reins over my life. Why, I’m not sure but I love… https://t.co/sMMteGJGCC
“I have also been told that I need to work on both accent and volume as well. Most Americans are much louder than Aussies, almost too loud. Aside from the diet – this would be the hardest element of assimilating to America,”
“I just need to remember that no one here cares if you talk about yourself. In fact, it is expected that you constantly talk about yourself at all times. As loud as possible”
Hayne has also stated he plans on immersing himself in the notoriously American gun culture.
“Mate, apparently you can own AK’s and AR-15’s and shit over here. Hectic”
This afternoon’s press conference is expected to be Hayne’s last official Australian appearance for the foreseeable future, as he’ll be heading back to the US by the end of the week.
Hayne’s contract involves a US$100,000 guarantee – something the 49ers were willing to offer, but the other franchises were not. In essence, it is a rookie contract, with Hayne entering the NFL system in similar circumstances to an undrafted free agent.