Despite the promising preseason, Jarryd Hayne didn’t last even half a season in the NFL, released by the San Francisco 49ers, mostly due to his inability to hold on to the ball.
Despite all the injuries the 49ers have at running back, including to leading rusher Carlos Hyde and the problems Reggie Bush, as usual, is having in staying on the field, the 49ers simply didn’t feel like they could afford to have Hayne making mistake after mistake, fumble after fumble, and still appease the growing Australian following to the team and the sport because of the former Rugby League star.
Hayne struck out on his first NFL touch, being on Monday Night Football of all places. He fumbled the ball on three of 13 punt returns overall, not to mention struggling to provide protection in the pocket for Colin Kaepernick, a painful issue for the 49ers a second straight season. This season, he played in six games and had eight rushing attempts for 25 yards and returned eight punts for 76 yards. Not enough to keep a struggling team impressed.
With so many problems at running back, the 49ers decided that Kendall Gaskins, a player who is a football player from the get go, is better to have on the field or in reserve than a sport convert who might be electrifying when getting in the open field and had the fifth best selling jersey in the NFL during September, but lacks so many fundamentals it’s just dangerous to put him on the field almost every possession.
Not a lot of decisions the 49ers front office has made are popular. This one won’t be either. Considering how things have gone for them since getting rid of Jim Harbaugh in terms of decision making, releasing Hayne might also be a mistake. We’ve gotten used to those under the Jed York regime.