The New York Jets have released Valentine Holmes from their practice squad, adding to the speculation he could sign with the North Queensland Cowboys in Australia's National Rugby League (NRL) competition in coming days.
Holmes, 24, was picked up by the NFL team in April and featured in the Jets' four preseason games, primarily as a running back and wide receiver. In the team's final summer game against Philadelphia, was prominent with 8 catches for 85 yards (including a 27-yard long reception) and 11 carries for 9 yards.
He was recruited as part of the NFL's International Player Pathway Program but has been eyeing a move back to Australia and is heavily tipped to sign with the Cowboys.
Holmes' likely move to Townsville is expected to be the first in a series of big NRL dominoes to fall, with Sydney Roosters star Latrell Mitchell now likely to sign with the Wests Tigers on a multi-million-dollar deal despite touring the Cowboys' facilities earlier in the week.