The Seattle Seahawks are searching far and wide to add players to their injury-plagued roster, but is it possible they are searching as far as Australia for a former rugby star to fit the bill?
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Australian rugby superstar Jarryd Hayne said Wednesday he is leaving his team to pursue a career in the NFL and Seattle might be interested in him.
At 6-foot-2, 220-pounds, Hayne has the size to be competitive in the NFL, but now the question is where he will end up.
The Seahawks reportedly met with the 26-year-old back in September at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center, but head coach Pete Carroll said on Wednesday he was not at that meeting.
When asked by reporters if the Seahawks were interested in signing the Australian star, Carroll side-stepped the question, per ESPN.com:
"“I don’t think I’m able to talk about that,” Carroll said. “We couldn’t talk about a player on another [NFL] team, so I don’t want to mess it up. But it’s a pretty exciting thought.“I’ve always thought it would be cool to recruit down [in Australia] and all that because there are some great players, and it’s a great game. It’s a very physical and demanding game, so those guys have all the same stuff we’re looking for in our guys.”"
Hayne said earlier this week that he feels he could best be used as a kick or punt returner in the NFL, but the Seahawks have no need at either of those positions.
Some experts think Hayne’s unique mix of size, speed and muscle could make him an ideal running back, but Seattle is just fine with Marshawn Lynch.
So are the Seahawks seriously considering bringing on the former rugby star?
If Carroll has any say in the situation, it looks like he is against the prospect of signing someone with no NFL experience in the middle of the season, though he said he respects Hayne’s drive:
"“I think it would be really hard and a tremendous challenge,” Carroll said. “Only a certain few could do it. There would need to be a lot of patience from the [NFL team involved]. I don’t think a guy could come in in the middle of a season. I think it would take more time than that. But we’ve seen guys over the years who have made the transition from other sports.”"
Seattle could use some more depth at linebacker with Bobby Wagner (turf toe) expected to miss the next few weeks and they would really love a solid corner back to take over for Byron Maxwell until his calf recovers.
But, again, Hayne doesn’t seem to fit the bill in Seattle.
It would be an interesting addition, but probably not one worth the Seahawks time right now.
We’ll have to wait and see if Carroll, John Schneider and company see something in Hayne that we don’t on the surface, otherwise I would say Seattle is just going to pass on the former rugby star.