Parramatta Eels coach Brad Arthur has revealed how Jarryd Hayne almost left the club in 2013, during Arthur's rookie season as coach.
Arthur revealed to Fairfax Media, Hayne stayed for one more year out of respect for Arthur and would eventually leave after the 2014 season to achieve his NFL dream.
"I was in Bali when he contacted me about leaving," Arthur said.
"He just had a dream to fulfil and wanted to go 12 months before that, to be honest with you.
"But he felt he didn't want to let me down. At times in 2014 – and I didn't know this until later on – he was struggling a bit with his heart not being 100 per cent in it.
"It was still in the back of his head he wanted to give the NFL a crack. He has always had dreams of that.
"The fact is he stayed there out of respect and was part of the driving force to try get me to the club.
"It was tough for him to tell me he was going and I'm not going to force a player to stay when I knew he didn't want to.
"I knew all along that at some stage that was part of the bigger picture for him."
Hayne would stay at the Eels, and win his second Dally M Medal as the competition's best player for the 2014 season alongside Johnathan Thurston, before signing with NFL franchise San Fransisco 49ers.
After his NFL adventure, Hayne returned to the NRL (via Fiji Rugby Sevens) and signed with the Gold Coast Titans.
Now, Hayne has walked away from a million dollar contract, to sign a cut price one-year deal with the Eels to be closer to his young daughter.