By now I’m sure you have all heard the massive news this morning that NRL superstar, and current Dally M medalist Jarryd Hayne has announced he is headed to the USA to try his hand in the NFL.
Sighting the fact that he felt he had ‘done it all’ in the NRL, one of the game’s genuine stars will now exit the game to chase the riches on offer in the biggest footballing league in the world.
Hayne, who is still in his prime, has allowed himself the best possible opportunity to adapt to the American brand of football.
An emotional Hayne fronted media this morning to admit this is a move he wanted to make a year ago but ‘lacked the courage’ to pull the trigger.
For Hayne this is a massive gamble as he leaves a sport as arguably one of the top five players in the World to enter a sport where he has not been guaranteed a contract.
Jarryd Hayne is the sort of supreme athlete that could succeed at any sport. If he was given the time to adapt I have no doubt at all he can be a success in the NFL, however he will face ridiculous competition.
The depth of talent in the American version of football has no comparison in Australia. The college system means the NFL teams have an amazing supply of talent from all areas of the country, not to mention the growing number of international competitions being set up.
Hayne, who had just signed a big contract with the Eels could no doubt earn ten times the value of his Eels contract whilst in the States, but American franchises are not in the business of throwing multi-million dollar contracts at novices.
Even if Hayne should fail in his dream of achieving a NFL contract, he could come back to the NRL in three years and still earn incredible money. His pure marketing appeal makes him an attractive option to a wide variety of sponsors.
Simply put, this is a calculated gamble for Hayne, with a huge upside.
Where does the move leave Parramatta?
I have spoken quickly to fans of the Eels and make no mistake, they are shattered. Although they wish their freakish number one all the best, the fact remains, they’re losing their best player.
The Eels, who had built their future around the two-time Dally M medalist, are now left without their highest paid star, their best player on-field, and most high profile player off-field.
The NSW Blues, who finally ended QLD’s dominance on the back of two incredible efforts from Hayne, have lost arguably their biggest asset also.
Even the depleted Kangaroos side for the upcoming Four Nations squad have lost an important attacking weapon and will have to rely on debutants.
Hayne’s move has sent shock waves through the NRL community. As good as Hayne is, as freakishly talented as he is, as marketable as he is, the decision won’t even make ripples in the States.
Hayne, who admits the challenge of the NRL is not where he needs it to be, leaves the game having done it all … except achieving that elusive Premiership.
If the challenge of being the game’s highest paid player and leading an up and coming side to Premiership glory is not enough to drive him to continue playing NRL, then perhaps the move is best for all parties.
Best of luck Jarryd.
The owner of Monstasport, Daniel Nichols is one of the most prolific featured guest writers on League Freak's web site.