Jarryd Hayne quits rugby league to pursue NFL career
HE may not even have a contract yet, but Jarryd Hayne has sensationally quit the Parramatta Eels to pursue a dream of playing in the NFL.
Hayne released a statement to fans before later giving a press conference to confirm his decision.
The star fullback says he will be withdrawing from the Kangaroos Four Nations side immediately, and accepting a conditional release from the Eels to make the move overseas.
Despite rumours that he has linked with the Seattle Seahawks, Hayne said at a press conference that he is yet to sign anywhere.
The Parramatta custodian said he had achieved his rugby league dream but wanted to challenge himself further. He said he had been considering the move for 24-months and had stalled at going a year ago. He also emphasised that the move was not financially motivated.
“I was just about to become the highest paid player in the NRL,” Hayne said.
“I’m a kid from Minto. My dream was to buy my Mum house and I did that, everything else is a bonus.
“Emotion was keeping me in league. I didn’t feel like it was challenging me in the way I’ll now be challenged.”
Hayne has accepted a conditional release from his NRL contract with Parramatta but has also agreed a lifetime deal with the club so that if he does return to rugby league, it will be with the Eels.
Hayne is undoubtedly in for a huge challenge against the world’s best athletes of a sport he has never played, but says he did not want to live in regret.
“I never want to limit myself out there. I want to give myself every opportunity to climb a mountain from the bottom. I feel like I’ve done everything in rugby league.
“It’s a huge challenge and I’m excited. It’s been in my heart for so long and that’s why it’s something I have to do.
“I’m under no illusion. It’s going to be tough. I’m doing something that’s never been done before.”
The move will not only solve the Parramatta Eels salary cap headaches but also leave them searching for a new fullback to fill the big hole that Hayne is likely to leave in 2015.
As a result, the Eels are now $51 at Sportsbet to win the 2015 NRL Grand Final.