Buzz: Huge risk but one factor in Holmes’ favour
On face value it looks like NRL superstar Valentine Holmes is taking a huge financial risk.
He is turning his back on an $800,000 contract with the Sharks in 2019 and a $3 million deal with the North Queensland Cowboys from 2020.
On top of that the money he gets from State of Origin and Test match football which equates to around $200,000-a-year.
However it is the age factor that works in his favour. Holmes is just 23.
Jarryd Hayne was 26 when he made the San Francisco 49ers and signed a three-year deal worth around $500,000 a season.
Holmes could try to make it in the NFL but return home in a year's time if it doesn't work out.
And then have another eight years playing rugby league.
Holmes trialled alongside Cowboys forward Jason Taumalolo in front of NFL scouts in 2016.
It's not like this is an overnight dream. He has wanted to have a crack for some time.
Sharks fans will no doubt be bitterly disappointed at the prospect of losing him.
He broke the club's all-time try-scoring record last year, scoring 22 tries in 26 games, overtaking club legend Andrew Ettingshausen.
It is also a huge loss for the NRL. He is a turnstile clicker.
The retirement of Billy Slater and Johnathan Thurston left the door open for the likes of Kalyn Ponga and Holmes to become the game's next superstars.
Holmes is already a worldwide Nike ambassador. He is a marketing machine with the good looks, clean image and breathtaking attacking skills. The sponsors love him.
Still, it's a huge blow for the Sharks.
The club is still looking for a major sponsor for next season and they need personalities.
Also coach Shane Flanagan would have preferred to have known about this much earlier.
He only found out when your columnist rang him on Monday afternoon.
There had been no contact from Holmes' agent Gavin Orr.
At least it would have given Flanagan more time to find a replacement.
The Sharks could always play hard ball and try to hold him to his contract.
But what's the point of keeping a player who deep down wants to go elsewhere.
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