WELP. Here we bloody go again. NRL star Valentine Holmes has reportedly told the Cronulla Sharks he intends to sensationally quit the club in order to pursue an American football career in the NFL.
23-year-old Holmes, who has played some 105 games with Cronulla (including the side’s 2016 NRL Premiership win), has also represented Queensland in 5 State of Origin appearances, and has earned 13 Australian caps with the Kangaroos, is expected to relocate to the United States almost immediately, in what would be a shock and extremely abrupt codeswitch.
The Daily Telegraph reported this afternoon that Holmes made the decision to switch careers after visiting “a major NFL franchise” during a recent visit to the Nike global headquarters in Oregon. Nearby franchises include the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers, and potentially even the Denver Broncos.
Holmes’ abrupt departure from the NRL would be as puzzling as it would be sudden; Holmes remains contracted to the Sharks for season 2019, and was widely expected to sign with the North Queensland Cowboys for season 2020 onwards, a move that would have satisfied a desire to be closer to his family. That he has now turned around and decided he wants to move to the United States – the Telegraph reports he wants to make the move “immediately” – is all the more confusing.
It is not, however, the first time Holmes has flirted with a career in the NFL. In 2016 he had a highly-publicised trial in front of a slew of NFL agents and almost made the move at the conclusion of that year.
Cronulla officials have reportedly been informed, but head coach Shane Flanagan had not been told prior to the story breaking this afternoon. Holmes is expected to meet with Sharks officials tomorrow to sort out his move.
Here’s hoping the whole thing goes a little smoother than Jarryd Hayne‘s attempts.