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Jets Sign Former Rugby Star Hayden Smith

By Alan Schechter

The Jets have made another splash, but this time it is not a popular backup QB.

The Jets have signed former rugby star Hayden Smith to a three year contract, earning him an average salary of $355,000, including $100,000 in his first year.

Smith is a former college basketball player turned rugby pro. Smith is 6-6 265 pounds, and runs the 40 yard dash in 4.75 seconds. The team is figuring to use him as a tight end.

The interesting part of this is that Hayden Smith has never played a down of football before. Nope, not once. Rex Ryan will watch this young man play his first down of football.

He has been working with Tim Brewwster, the same coach that helped Antonio Gates make the move from basketball to football. There has been a lot of past success moving from basketball to playing tight end, see Gates, Tony Gonzalez, and more recently Jimmy Graham.

Smith will certainly know the physical side of the game playing rugby. The question will be if he can pick up the sport. It’s an interesting one, we will wait and see.

To make room, the Jets announced the release of DaMarcus Ganaway, whom they signed to a futures contract back in January.