NRL CEO David Smith has made some interesting statements in the aftermath of news that Jarryd Hayne would be leaving the NRL to pursue his dream to play in the NRL.
Smith has explained that he was in contact with Hayne’s management as late as last night and was willing to do what ever it took to keep Hayne in the NRL. At the end of the day however, Hayne’s decision was not about money:
“This is one of those clear cut cases where I would have been happy to use my marquee player discretion to try to keep Jarryd in the NRL,” he said.
“In fact, I was in contact with Jarryd, his manager and the Eels management last night and this morning to see if there was anything we could do to keep him in the game.
“But Jarryd has a dream and he deserves the chance to pursue that dream.
“He is a gifted athlete who has been a wonderful asset for Rugby League and we wish him well in his next challenge.”
Mr Smith said Jarryd would be welcome back to the NRL at any time.
“In the meantime, I have no doubt new stars will come through the ranks to replace those leaving the game,” he said.
“One of the great things about the NRL is that there is always exciting new talent coming through the ranks to become the superstars of the future.”
People will not doubt attack Smith and the NRL because people are stupid. The fact is that as a rookie with no American Football experience at all, if Hayne does manage to make an NFL roster he will be on far less than he would have earned next season in the NRL.
I think it is great that the NRL CEO stepped in and tried to keep Hayne in the game. Others won’t like it, but that is Smith’s job.