The New York Jets are trying to find and acquire talent from not only the American professional football world, but wherever they can bring on board a player they believe will help them out. It has been reported by several media outlets, including Robert Klemko at the USA Today, that the Jets have signed Australian born rugby star Hayden Smith to play tight end for the club.
Hayden Smith, who is 26 years old, who is reportedly being listed as six-foot-six and 265 pounds, with a clocked speed of 4.75 seconds in the 40 yard dash, has also played basketball for Division II Metropolitan State in Denver. The deal Smith signed with the Jets is for three years with $100,000, of the $355,000 salary for 2012, as guaranteed money. This addition will give the Jets another potential versatile option for Mark Sanchez as well as assist in blocking in the run game for Greene, McKnight and company. The reason the Jets are so high on Smith is because of there hopes for a similar stroke of luck such as what the San Diego Chargers have had with Antonio Gates. He was also converted to football from basketball by Tim Brewster, a former tight ends coach, and Brewster has assisted Smith in trying to assimilate the American game of football. Brewster was quoted as saying of Smith:
"I was really amazed at a couple of things. First, his ability to assimilate all the information I was throwing at him. Football makes sense to the kid. Second, his work ethic off the charts. He's a way above average athlete for the position. I think the kid has an outstanding future in the National Football League."
The U.S. National Rugby Team had the services for Hayden Smith during last year's Rugby World Cup. As we all know, or can recall if you know the history of American football, rugby shares very similar traits, and the roots of our style of football are from the footprint of rugby in it's early days in America. If Smith is able to get himself completely engrossed in the game, then the Jets could have their own version of the Patriots Rob Gronkowski that could provide headaches for Jets defensive opponents in 2012. This move also means the Jets may not need to sign any other free agent tight end, though they still may draft one later in the month.
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