Valentine Holmes is tackled during a pre-season game against the Eagles. (Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Valentine Holmes is tackled during a pre-season game against the Eagles. (Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Holmes handed NFL lifeline by Jets

The New York Jets have signed Valentine Holmes to their practice squad.

The move was expected after the Jets waived the former NRL star on Saturday.

Holmes will train with the Jets during the coming season, but likely will not play games.

The Jets' regular season begins against the Buffalo Bills on September 8. Holmes will take a significant pay cut from what he was earning as an elite NRL player.

Holmes will pocket about $202,000 on the practice squad.

It is a long way from the five-year $5 million contract the Cronulla Sharks offered Holmes before he left for New York and what other NRL teams would be willing to pay if he returned to Australia.

Holmes was joined by offensive linemen Calvin Anderson and Ben Braden, cornerback Kyron Brown, quarterback Luke Falk, linebacker Jamey Mosley and wide receiver Jeff Smith on the Jets' practice squad.

 

Valentine Holmes had his best preseason game against Philly. Picture: New York Jets/ Supplied
Valentine Holmes had his best preseason game against Philly. Picture: New York Jets/ Supplied

The Jets are stacked with experienced running back talent led by Le'Veon Bell, who signed a four-year $77million contract to join the team.

Holmes is taking part in the NFL's International Pathway program designed to give non-US elite athletes a chance to embed with NFL teams and learn the game without the pressure of having to make the 53-man roster or play games.

While regular NFL practice squad players can be activated during the regular season and play games, Holmes and other Pathway players who fill a bonus 11th practice squad slot cannot be activated. They only train with their teams.

Rival NFL teams are also barred from signing Holmes.

The practice squad does allow Holmes the luxury of training with the Jets for the full season, building relationships with coaches and players and learning the complexities of the game without the fear of being axed to free up a roster position.