San Francisco 49ers

49ers sign Garoppolo to record deal

Garoppolo's deal, which was first reported by NBC Sports Bay Area and subsequently by the league's official website, is the biggest in NFL history on an average-per-year basis at $27.5m per season.

The 26-year-old quarterback was acquired in October from the New England Patriots for a 2018 second-round pick.

He was in the final year of his rookie deal and set to become a free agent ahead of next season, but now San Francisco's hopes of making him the team's next franchise quarterback have become a reality.

Obama defends Kaepernick's anthem protest

The San Francisco 49ers quarterback started the protest last month after he sat during the national anthem for a preseason game, saying he would not "show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color."

Since then, other professional athletes have also chosen not to stand for the national anthem, sparking a national debate.

Hayne praised by San Francisco 49ers coach

Kelly also doused speculation the 49ers were planning to cut Hayne, which led to the Australian making a face-saving exit.

The 49ers instead were bullish on Hayne, praising his ability to pick up Kelly's new offence and excited about using his powerful, 188cm body and skills.

"He's a really sharp learner," Kelly told reporters on Tuesday at the 49ers' Santa Clara facility.

"We were excited. He's a big body and has a skill set."