Australia rugby league star Jarryd Hayne is expected to decide early next week where he will begin his possible NFL career.
Hayne does not have a standing offer from the 49ers, but agent Jack Bechta said Wednesday there is mutual interest between the sides.
“Right now I’m not sure where he stands,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said last week at the NFL Scouting Combine. “I’ve not seen him sign anywhere. We’ve had several conversations with him and we’ll see where that goes.”
He has reportedly made two visits to the Detoit Lions and also met with the 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. Daily Telegraph in Sydney reported on Sunday that Hayne is expected to sign with the Lions. But Bechta told CSNBayArea.com on Wednesday no decision has been made.
At a recent pro day, Hayne checked in at 6 foot 2, 226 pounds. He reportedly ran the 40-yard dash in an unofficial time of 4.53 seconds.
Hayne, 27, is projected as a running back and possible return man. He caught passes out of the backfield and fielded punts at his recent pro day.
Hayne won the National Rugby League’s equivalent of the most valuable player for a second time last season. In October, he was given a conditional release from his team, the Parramatta Eels, to allow him the opportunity to pursue a career in the NFL.
Carlos Hyde is the 49ers' top running back under contract. Kendall Hunter, who missed last season due to a torn ACL, is also under contract. Frank Gore is scheduled for unrestricted free agency.
Bruce Ellington returns as the 49ers' top punt returner. The 49ers also have late-season pickup Trindon Holliday, a speedster with four return touchdowns in 33 NFL games, under contract for next season.
The 49ers will begin the third year of an experiment to develop former British rugby player and Olympian Lawrence Okoye into an NFL defensive lineman. Okoye has spent the past two seasons working closely with Jim Tomsula, now the head coach. Okoye, who was an Olympic finalist in the discus in the 2012 London Olympics, spent his first season on injured reserve and was a member of the practice squad last year.