Infotainment Factory: Gallen: how I really feel about Holmes' NFL shot

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Saturday, 6 April 2019

Gallen: how I really feel about Holmes' NFL shot


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Paul Gallen has backed Valentine Holmes' foray into the NFL but said the jury would be out on the former NRL superstar until he was tested in a realistic game scenario.

Holmes rejected a rich new Cronulla contract and quit the final season of his existing deal to chase his NFL dream, with Gallen a vocal critic of how he handled his hasty exit.

The former Test winger impressed in pro day testing last week, elevating his hopes of being signed by a team. Holmes has indicated that he is interested in playing as a wide receiver and punt returner, while running back, special teams or even tight end may be other possibilities.

Gallen said he hoped that his former teammate made the cut in US pro football, but warned that testing was only the start.

"He's going well over there," Gallen said on The Sunday Footy Show.

"I wasn't happy with the way it all happened, but I said from that first interview that if anyone can make it happen, he can and I hope he does.

Valentine Holmes' possible NRL return

"He's trained his guts out there for the past few months. He's looking five or six kilos heavier ... it's obviously not a fitness game, it's a power game and he's put on at least five kilos.

"Some of the times he did were amazing. His 40-[yard] was about 4.4 seconds - the fastest ever's only 4.1.

"He's certainly mixing it with them. I suppose the test's going to be ... in rugby league we call it scrimmage, where we actually virtually play without the full contact. I don't know how much of that he's done, to actually be able to catch a ball, get blindside and things like that.

"When he actually gets to play a game, we'll see how he goes."

Gallen said that Holmes would be bound to Cronulla by the terms of his exit if he cut short his NFL attempt and returned to the NRL.

"There's rumours floating around this week that he's homesick and wants to come back," Gallen said.

"Part of the contract, as I understand it, of him being released from Cronulla, was that he can't play for anyone else in 2019. So if he wants to come back to the NRL, he's [only] able to come back to Cronulla.

"Whether we can afford him or not, whether he wants to accept the money that we can offer him or not, is another thing. But if he wants to come back to the NRL - if I was Cronulla, and I am part of Cronulla, I'd be certainly making it work for the club in one way or another, whether that means compensation from another club or not."

Paul Gallen has backed Valentine Holmes' foray into the NFL but said the jury would be out on the former NRL superstar until he was tested in a realistic game scenario.

Holmes rejected a rich new Cronulla contract and quit the final season of his existing deal to chase his NFL dream, with Gallen a vocal critic of how he handled his hasty exit.

The former Test winger impressed in pro day testing last week, elevating his hopes of being signed by a team. Holmes has indicated that he is interested in playing as a wide receiver and punt returner, while running back, special teams or even tight end may be other possibilities.

Gallen said he hoped that his former teammate made the cut in US pro football, but warned that testing was only the start.

"He's going well over there," Gallen said on The Sunday Footy Show.

"I wasn't happy with the way it all happened, but I said from that first interview that if anyone can make it happen, he can and I hope he does.

Valentine Holmes' possible NRL return

"He's trained his guts out there for the past few months. He's looking five or six kilos heavier ... it's obviously not a fitness game, it's a power game and he's put on at least five kilos.

"Some of the times he did were amazing. His 40-[yard] was about 4.4 seconds - the fastest ever's only 4.1.

"He's certainly mixing it with them. I suppose the test's going to be ... in rugby league we call it scrimmage, where we actually virtually play without the full contact. I don't know how much of that he's done, to actually be able to catch a ball, get blindside and things like that.

"When he actually gets to play a game, we'll see how he goes."

Gallen said that Holmes would be bound to Cronulla by the terms of his exit if he cut short his NFL attempt and returned to the NRL.

"There's rumours floating around this week that he's homesick and wants to come back," Gallen said.

"Part of the contract, as I understand it, of him being released from Cronulla, was that he can't play for anyone else in 2019. So if he wants to come back to the NRL, he's [only] able to come back to Cronulla.

"Whether we can afford him or not, whether he wants to accept the money that we can offer him or not, is another thing. But if he wants to come back to the NRL - if I was Cronulla, and I am part of Cronulla, I'd be certainly making it work for the club in one way or another, whether that means compensation from another club or not."

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