NFL no more.
NFL no more.

Holmes returns on monster $5.7m NRL deal

Valentine Holmes will return to the NRL with a massive six-year deal with the North Queensland Cowboys.

The Cowboys released a statement on Sunday night, with both agreeing to the deal effective immediately and running through until the end of the 2025 season.

The contract is reportedly worth a staggering $5.7 million.

The 24-year-old played 105 NRL games across five seasons for the Cronulla Sharks between 2014 and 2018 but sought a release to go and chase his NFL dream.

Holmes was placed on the NFL's practices squad as part of International Player Pathway program, taking a massive pay cut to learn the new game.

But the dream lasted a matter of months and now Holmes is set to return to the game that made his name.

And he will return to his home town of Townsville, having already taken a photo in the jersey.

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Done deal - Holmes is a Cowboy! #ridemcowboys

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While the Cowboys appeared to be chasing the signature of Roosters gun Latrell Mitchell, some felt it was a ploy to force Holmes' hand.

The news moved quickly as Holmes was cut by the Jets on Saturday

Holmes did try to hide his intentions, telling AAP yesterday that he was going to take some time to make up his mind.

"I will now take some time off to organise my things and sit down with my family and my agent on my return to Australia to discuss next steps," Holmes said on Saturday.

Holmes is expected to be just under $1 million a season with the NRL.com reporting it would be $5 million over the six years., having salary sacrificed on his NFL attempt.

He was earning $US136,000 ($A176,000) on the practice squad.

"It is a lot different to what I'm used to," he said.

"You get paid during the season and you don't get paid in the off-season. That's a bit difficult and plays a part in the decision I will make."

Holmes is expected to slot straight back into the NRL where he was one of the stars of the game, a State of Origin star with Queensland and a veteran of 13 Tests for the Kangaroos.

Valentine Holmes will be back in the NRL.
Valentine Holmes will be back in the NRL.

Holmes has 66 tries in his 105 NRL appearances and also booted 51 goals from 69 attempts at a 74 per cent success rate and the Cowboys are hoping he can fill the void left by Johnathan Thurston's departure as a star player.

"This is a wonderful signing for our club," Cowboys Director of Football Peter Parr said.

"It wasn't long ago that Valentine was one of the best players in the competition before his courageous decision to go to the NFL. His form in 2018 was as good as any player in the NRL, particularly in the second half of that season.

"He's a proven big game player, he's won a grand final and he's played some terrific football for both Queensland and Australia.

"Valentine has been a top-class performer at wing and fullback and we've made no secret we had a desire to strengthen our outside back stocks.

"Val's record speaks for itself and we couldn't be more excited about securing him at the Cowboys for the next six seasons."

Valentine Holmes is a try scoring machine.
Valentine Holmes is a try scoring machine.

For Sharks fans, they don't play the Cowboys until round 10 - a Cronulla home game on the Sunshine Coast.

Holmes' training commencement date will be decided in the coming days.

He will also be officially unveiled as a Cowboy at 11am on Monday morning.

As for his NFL attempt, Holmes said he would take it in his stride.

"Joining the New York Jets has been an awesome experience, one I would never change," Holmes said.

"I made personal and professional sacrifices to secure the opportunity to pull on the Jets helmet and uniform.

"I will live with no regrets around my decision to pursue an NFL career."

 

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News Corp Australia


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