Valentine Holmes Takes Whopping 80 Percent Pay Cut To Join NFL's New York Jets
Everyone earns more in American sport, right? Guess again.
Cronulla Sharks flyer Valentine Holmes signed with the New York Jets today, but don't think he'll be buying the biggest apartment in the Big Apple -- or not yet anyway.
For one thing, the Jets play at the Meadowlands Sports Complex across the Hudson River in New Jersey, so he'll likely live there, not in New York City.
And secondly, he's on peanuts compared to the NFL's top earners, who can earn tens of millions a season.
Holmes, 23, is a Queensland and Australian rep player, as well as a premiership winner with the Sharks. He effectively walked away from a $5 million, five-year contract to pursue his NFL dream.
At the Jets he'll be paid $A181,500 per season, meaning he's taken more than an 80 per cent pay cut. It's a huge gamble.
Unlike Jarryd Hayne, who played eight games for the San Francisco 49ers in 2015 after graduating through a cut-throat pre-season on his own merits, Holmes has taken a slightly easier route.
He's made the grade as one of seven foreign players to come through this year's NFL's International Player Pathway program -- a new program which started in 2017.
The program gives elite athletes with minimal American football experience a chance to play with an NFL team without fear of being cut, and technically, Holmes is on the practice squad.
Whether he's still be there when the roster is cut to 53 on August 31 is up to him. If so, it's likely Holmes would fill a role as a running back and wide receiver on offence, or as a kick returner on special teams.
And if he fails, there are plenty of Aussie NRL clubs who'd be ready to reignite their love affair with Valentine.