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Holmes taking big risk: NRL boss Greenberg

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(AAP Image/David Rowland)

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg has warned Valentine Holmes he is taking a "big risk" pursuing his NFL dream and dismissed concerns about the Cronulla star sparking a player drain.

Holmes is free to pursue his NFL dream after being granted an immediate release from his NRL contract with Cronulla.

He follows in the footsteps of the likes of Jarryd Hayne, who earned a contract with the San Francisco 49ers in 2015.

Greenberg was unfazed by Holmes' move and didn't waste time spelling out just how tough it will be for the Queensland State of Origin star to make the NFL cut.

"Over the years we have seen the occasional player try his hand at a different sport whether it has been the NFL or others and what we have seen in that history is players come back pretty quickly," he said in Brisbane.

"Occasionally this will happen when a player like Valentine chases his dreams.

"I wouldn't begrudge him trying to get on the stage of the NFL but in saying that it is a significant risk, it is a big risk.

"It's a big challenge for him. I hope he does well. But history tells me that players who try their hand quite often come back."

Under the terms of the release, Holmes will not be permitted to play for any other NRL club in 2019 should his American plans not work out.

The superstar fullback has just returned from a holiday in the US where he is said to have viewed an NFL franchise.

Asked if he thought Holmes would return to the NRL, Greenberg said: "We don't want to be making it easy for players to leave the code, but in saying that if he wants to come back there's a conversation to be had."

Holmes initially showed interest in a US switch after he and fellow NRL star Jason Taumalolo of the North Queensland Cowboys completed NFL workouts in 2016.

The Sharks fullback reportedly got a taste for it again when on a recent holiday in the US.

Holmes reportedly underwent strength and speed testing at Nike's global headquarters in Oregon with a view to enter the NFL's international program system.

© AAP 2018