Rugby league dream ends for Silas Redd
After wrestling with the decision for days former Washington Redskins running back Silas Redd has decided to forsake his NRL dream and return to the United States to take up a role with the NFL in Los Angeles.
The 26-year-old former NFL star had signed with the Ipswich Jets this year with the aim of breaking into the NRL via the Intrust Super Cup and doing a "reverse Jarryd Hayne".
He played with the Jets against Tweed Heads last year in Hawaii and made an appearance in a trial game in New Zealand in the pre-season.
After training with Ipswich for three months he was on the cusp of making his Intrust Super Cup debut when an opportunity came up that Jets chairman Steve Johnson said Redd could not refuse.
"His former running back coach at the Redskins has been offered a role with the NFL in Los Angeles, where Silas' fiancé lives, in welfare and events and was told he could pick his own staff so he has offered a gig to Silas," Johnson told NRL.com.
"The offer couldn't be delayed until the end of the year so Silas had to make a very hard decision. Silas has a young son and has decided to put his family first, which is something we always promote at the Jets."
Johnson said the easy decision for Redd, who will marry his fiancé next February in New Orleans, would have been to stay in Brisbane and put his own aspirations first.
"He could have been selfish and pursued a career as an athlete but he has decided to go and pursue a lifetime career and take good care of his son and fiancé," Johnson said.
"Silas wanted to stay but the mature and selfless decision was to go home and we support him one hundred per cent. We are very proud of him."
Redd went home to the United States when the Jets had their bye round recently and then returned to Australia with a lot weighing on his mind.
He was to play in a Legends of League game but Johnson said he had migraine headaches and was forced to pull out as he mulled over whether to stay and pursue his NRL goal or return to his homeland.
"It was when he went home that he saw his son and fiancé and while he was there his old coach made him a job offer, so he has come back on a plane on his own for 14 hours and agonised over a decision," Johnson said.
"He took counsel with his father and fiancé and he was torn. He spent five hours with me trying to work out what he wanted to do."
Redd left for the United States last Friday and did so with the blessing of the Jets and with his head held high.
"He certainly hasn't failed in what he has done here. He was almost ready to play in the Intrust Super Cup," Johnson said.
"His attack was there but there were some areas in defence where Ben and Shane [Walker] were working with him that had held him back.
"We had a young American player in 2012 who was knocked out repeatedly and we learned not to risk the boys until they have their head positioning correct."
Johnson said that it would likely be the end of Redd's quest to become an NRL player but he may not be lost to rugby league.
"We had a two-year plan to get him into the NRL and he would have got there," Johnson said.
"I will continue to do some work with rugby league in America and hopefully he can play for their national team going forward."