Anyone who didn’t see this coming might want to consider having the blinkers removed, even at the risk of surrendering blinker-supplied serenity.
Valentine Holmes is back, officially, returning to the NRL after ending his poor man’s imitation of Jarryd Hayne.
Not only is he back, but he avoided the worse-than-death fate of returning with the Gold Coast Titans.
Granted, that is, that anyone consider the North Queensland Cowboys an improvement.
Holmes is just 24, so either he has business savvy beyond his years, or he is represented by those who have savvy to spare.
North Queensland has grabbed Holmes with a six-season contract. He had played 105 games for Cronulla and was putting up the sort of numbers that necessitate head scratching over why any club in the NRL would let him escape Australia.
The New York Jets officially released Holmes and Holmes had his next paycheck lined up within a day’s time.
Holmes got a year off playing football while pretending to play football and he discovered the inescapable truth of the NFL.
There are about 120 jobs for running backs in professional gridiron and about 12,000 athletes who have physical skills equal to or nearly equal to those of Holmes, with the exception of having vast gridiron experience.
Reports suggest that Holmes will be paid $1 million per season.
That figure works out to about $40,000 per game, assuming that Holmes plays 150 games for the Cows over six years of 25-game seasons.
It is hard to say which scenario is the more likely, Holmes staying injury free for six years, or the Cowboys making finals, in which event, Holmes would see his price-per-game figure drop.
Holmes can play wing and fullback, as he did in his final year with Cronulla.
“This is a wonderful signing for our club,” Cowboys director of football Peter Parr said in a statement.
North Queensland missed finals the past two season and they will certainly benefit from the scoring prowess Holmes brings. They finished 13th out of 16 in the Telstra 2019 NRL Premiership competition, but 13thwas not far from eighth, so the addition of Holmes might be just the thing to tip the Cowboys into the 2020 finals.