Valentine Holmes’ dreams of playing in the NFL have taken a step closer to becoming reality after signing for the New York Jets.
The 23-year-old was allocated a spot with the Jets as part of the NFL’s international pathway programme.
The NFL announce that Australia rugby league international Holmes was allocated a spot with the Jets, but under the pathway programme’s rules, he won’t be eligible to play in the NRL in 2019 unless he is picked in the 53-man roster before the season’s start.
Holmes got the chance to perform in front of NFL scouts at a combine last week, but he wasn’t picked up as a free agent.
Under the pathway’s rules and regulations, players that aren’t signed to free agent deals are eligible for a practice squad exemption, allowing one of the AFC East teams – Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots and the Jets – space for an 11th squad member.
However, the player is ineligible to be played during their first season if they remain on the practice squad and doesn’t get selected in the 53-man roster.
Holmes has been listed as a running back/wide receiver/kick returner in the NFL.
The former full-back or winger scored 66 tries in 105 appearances for Cronulla Sharks between 2014-18, as well as scoring 17 tries in 13 games for Australia. He also bagged eight tries in five games for Queensland.