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Monday, December 9, 2013
Former TE Hayden Smith returns to rugby

By Rich Cimini

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Former New York Jets tight end Hayden Smith apparently has given up on the NFL.

Smith, cut by the Jets at the end of the preseason, has returned to his former rugby team in England, Saracens. He played there before signing with the Jets in April 2012. It was a terrific story because he had no prior experience in organized football. He ended up playing in five games in 2012, catching one pass for 16 yards.

“It’s fantastic to be back," Smith told a London newspaper. "I learned a huge amount in the NFL, various elements that will help me become a better rugby player, but there is nothing like the Saracens environment and I am now completely focused on working hard and helping the squad achieve all our goals."

Smith made an impact in the Jets' locker room, helping to caffeinate his teammates. He kept a portable coffee maker in his locker, serving espresso and cappuccino. A good dude, Smith.