Sharks expect Holmes to stick to NFL dream

Forner Cronulla star Valentine Holmes is set to make his NFL debut in a pre-season run for the Jets.
Forner Cronulla star Valentine Holmes is set to make his NFL debut in a pre-season run for the Jets.

Cronulla aren't expecting Valentine Holmes back in Australia anytime soon and even if he is they say they don't have the NRL salary cap space to accommodate him.

The former Sharks star will on Friday morning (AEST) take a big step in his pursuit of his NFL dream when he runs out for his first game in New York Jets colours in a pre-season trial against the NY Giants.

The former Queensland and Australian ace has four games over the next four weeks in which to make an impression before the Giants' squad is whittled down to 53.

But even if Holmes doesn't make the cut, he is guaranteed a spot on the franchise's practice squad as a member of the NFL International Pathways program.

Holmes sat in the Sharks coach's box during their loss to Canterbury at ANZ Stadium in late June and maintains strong ties with Morris and many of his former teammates.

Morris said he wasn't holding his breath for Holmes to return to Australia and backed him to succeed in the NFL.

"I don't believe he'll be back, he's over there for at least another 12 months, regardless of whether he makes the 53-man squad," Morris said.

"He was just back supporting the boys.

"He certainly wasn't making any impressions on us that he was going to be back anytime soon. He's liking the transition he's making."

Even if Holmes did seek a return to the NRL, it's doubtful that the Sharks could find the space in their salary cap to sign him next year.

They have been saddled with a $350,000 penalty over 2019-2020 after they were found guilty of salary cap cheating.

They also signed Shaun Johnson to a $3 million, three-year deal as his backline replacement.

"I'd love to have Val back," Morris said.

"But where we sit, we're continually managing our salary cap as it is. Let alone having Val Holmes back in the mix."

Australian Associated Press