The NFL has been expanding its pool of players. The NFL has added players from across the seas. Four teams have the opportunity to add four players from a variety of different countries. The four players are Valentine Holmes, Jakob Johnson, Durval Queiroz Neto, and Christian Wade. All four players have been added to the 2019 practice squad.
Valentine Holmes, 23 is from Australia. Holmes was a former professional rugby player. Holmes became professional rugby at the age of 17, however, made his mark at 19. Holmes was able to represent Australia in the 2017 Rugby World Cup. Holmes is a running back, wide receiver and kick returner. Holmes has joined the 2019 practice squad for the New York Jets.
Jakob Johnson, 24 played in Germany. Johnson played college ball at the University of Tennessee where he was recruited as a linebacker. However, he switched to tight end after his freshmen years. Johnson played in the German Football league and has now been signed to the New England Patriots practice squad.
Durval Queiroz, 25 Neto played in Brazil. In Brazil, Neto played on one of the best teams. He is a defensive tackle and has been signed to the Miami Dolphins practice squad.
Christian Wade, 27 played Rugby. Wade was a member of the English National Rugby team. Wade received the highest honor by being selected to the British and Irish Lions squad. Wade is number three in the league’s all-time list. At such a young age, Wage is souring in his professional career. Wade will be heading to New York to play with the Buffalo Bills.
These four players are going from several leagues to the National Football League. Valentine Holmes, Jakob Johnson, Durval Queiroz Neto, and Christian Wade are the new players in the 2019 International Player Pathway Program. As the NFL continues to branch out and seek players from different avenues, the league will continue to grow.