Son of Kiwi NFL star gets $18 million contract

NFL player Rhett Ellison with Charles Piutau, Jerome Kaino, Keven Mealamu and Steven Luatua when he visited New Zealand in 2015. Photo / Dean Purcell
NFL player Rhett Ellison with Charles Piutau, Jerome Kaino, Keven Mealamu and Steven Luatua when he visited New Zealand in 2015. Photo / Dean Purcell

A NFL player with strong New Zealand heritage is set for newfound riches after signing a lucrative contract with the New York Giants.

Rhett Ellison, the son of Kiwi three time Super Bowl champion Riki Ellison, has reportedly signed a four year, $US18 million deal with the Giants, with $US8 million guaranteed.

Ellison, who plays fullback and tight end and specialises in blocking, was a free agent after spending five years with the Minnesota Vikings.

While born in California, Ellison has significant Kiwi links. In addition to his Dad being the first ever New Zealander to play in the NFL, Ellison is the grandnephew of the first captain of the All Blacks, Thomas Ellison, and related to former All Black Tamati Ellison.

Of Maori descent, Ellison went to primary school in Christchurch for three years before moving back to the United States.

Ellison told the Herald in 2015 that he was proud of his heritage.

"What's been cool is learning that history and trying to connect with it as much as possible," Ellison said.

Ellison will link up with quarterback Eli Manning and star wide recievers Brandon Marshall and Odell Beckham Jr on the Giants.

He will likely be used largely as a pass blocker and run blocker, but can be used as a reciever too, with 51 receptions and three touchdowns in his career to date.

- NZ Herald

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