Former NFL player Jarryd Hayne will be making his return to the NRL, signing a two-year deal with the Gold Coast Titans – resulting in a flood of mixed fan reactions about his constant code jumping.
The club confirmed their signing of the 28-year-old in a press conference on Wednesday, having confirmed the deal on Tuesday night. With initial reports suggesting it could be worth $2.5 million, the deal would make Hayne the highest paid player in the history of the league.
There’s also the possibility that Hayne will return as close as Sunday’s round 22 game, as his previously unregistered status in the league makes him exempt from the June 30 transfer deadline. Hayne has not played in the NRL since the end of the 2014 season, after pursuing his previous dream of playing in the NFL. Titans coach Graham Henry has said Hayne being named for the game would entirely depend on his physical condition.
The move is a controversial one, as Hayne’s former home at the Parramatta Eels seemed to be the likely front-runner to bring him back if he did return to the game. Naturally, social media had quite a bit to say about the matter.
At Hayne's press conference with the Titans announcing the deal, he seemed particularly fixated on breaking this promise to Eels fans, explaning that he'll be sad that he won't be rejoining them. "I never thought I would join another club. Not in my wildest dreams did I think I would be up here on the Gold Coast," he said. He stated that no formal deal was put forward by Parramatta, making his decision to move on an "emotional" one, and inciting further response (shade) from social media.
Hayne's commitment to various "dreams" over the years has also been called into question, having played only eight games with the NFL's 49ers before getting cut, and then failing to be chosen for the Olympic rugby sevens squad for Fiji.
Whether he'll be able to make an impact for the Titans this season appears to be the key question, but it seems some fans have already taken to Hayne's Wikipedia page to roast his commitment to the team – looks like dude will not be able to catch a single break.