The Detroit Lions are reportedly expected to sign Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne to a futures contract this week.
Hayne, who turned 27 last week, is a former MVP of the National Rugby League who quit the sport in October to pursue a NFL career. Shortly after, Lions running back Reggie Bush said he believed Hayne has the skills to play in the NFL.
"I just think he's a good athlete," Bush said, according to the Detroit Free Press. "I've seen some of his film, I watched him and he has all the skill sets that it takes to play in the NFL. He's a great athlete and I told him I definitely think he has a future in the NFL if he's serious about it."
Listed at 6'2", 220 pounds, Haynes also drew interest from the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, but according to the Telegraph, elected to sign the Lions' futures offer "due to their proven track record in player development."
The Telegraph also reports that Hayne's management company reached an agreement with Telstra, an Australian media company, to film and broadcast the first few months of his NFL career.
The Lions (11-5) ranked 28th in rushing last season, averaging 88.9 yards per game. Joique Bell led the team with 860 yards while Bush added 298. Both rushed only for 3.9 yards per carry.
Futures contracts can be signed as soon as the previous regular season has concluded and count only against a team's 90-man training camp roster limit for the following season. Any player not on a NFL active roster when the previous regular season ended is eligible to sign a futures contract.
- Mike Fiammetta