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League legend Andew Johns says he understands the tastes of Wade Graham and other Sharks players and officials who were frustrated with Valentine Holmes leaving the NFL.
Holmes will face his former Cronulla Sharks teammates for the first time this week, 18 months after leaving the club halfway through his contract in late 2018.
Johns, who is a big fan of clubs forcing players to sign previously signed contracts, said the bitter taste left by Holmes’ departure was understandable due to the implications of his salary cap for the club.
“I don’t have a problem personally because I’m not involved with the Sharks,” Johns told Wide World of Sports. Immortal behavior.
“But I can imagine that the salary cap is so difficult to manage when you have class players and younger players who suddenly reach this elite level, which Valentine did.
“So for him to sign a contract and then leave a few years before (it ended), it’s a bit of a beast to me.
“I can understand why Wade and the Sharks players were disappointed because they managed their cap in a certain way and would have spent a good part of their salary cap to keep Valentin.
“Now they’ve lost backs and really lost depth, so I can understand where Wade is coming from.”
Johns’ comments came after Graham said the Cowboys star had managed his exit to pursue an NFL career “the wrong way.”
“I thought Val had been disappointed with his leadership at the way it had happened,” he said. The Daily Telegraph.
“No one would have blamed him for anything if he wanted to go do what he did. But the way it all went, there was a lot of fallout because he left us in a hole.”
“If he and his management had been frank, there would have been no drama.
“They took it to death. It was just mismanaged. If they could go back in time and change the way they managed it, I’m sure they would manage it differently.”
Holmes had a fantastic start to life in Townsville, leading the assists competition for the Cowboys 2-1, a fact not lost on Sharks coach John Morris.
“It’s not all about Val, but we have to be good at stopping him,” he said.
“He’s really in shape faster than I thought.
“He bounced right back where he left off, so it’s a real danger for us to play against someone like Val and no doubt he will be ready for a great game against his former club.”