Valentine Holmes

Complete 2019 NFL International Pathway Program

Moritz Boehringer is back in the NFL. The German tight end, who became the first European player ever to be drafted without playing American college football back in 2016, has been allocated to the Bengals as part of the league’s international pathway program, per Darin Gantt of ProFootballTalk.com.

Boehringer’s assignment to the Bengals completes this year’s program. Each season, teams in two divisions get a roster exemption to develop a player from another country. The player can be the 91st man on offseason rosters, and can be an 11th player on practice squads during the regular season. Boehringer was drafted by the Vikings, but spent his rookie season on the practice squad without ever appearing in a game. He came into the league as a receiver, but has since transitioned to tight end. He was with the Bengals as part of this program last year, and will be back in Cincy in 2019.

Here’s a list of the rest of the players selected to participate:

Baltimore Ravens

  • FB Christopher Ezeala

Buffalo Bills

  • RB Christian Wade

Cleveland Browns 

  • DB Tigie Sankoh

Miami Dolphins

  • DT Durval Neto

New England Patriots

  • TE/FB Jakob Johnson

New York Jets

  • RB/WR/KR Valentine Holmes

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • TE Christian Scotland-Williamson

The AFC North participated last year, but this year the AFC East is taking the place of the NFC South. Notably, Efe Obada was a participant in the program with the Panthers last year, and he went on to make Carolina’s 53-man roster last season. He was re-signed this offseason.

Each of the players assigned to the AFC North were with those teams last year. Scotland-Williamson is a former rugby player, while Boehringer, Sankoh, and Ezeala all played American football overseas before making the leap.

All of the AFC East players are new to the program. Given the Patriots’ track record of finding hidden gems, Johnson will likely end up leading the league in receiving yards at some point. Johnson was signed from the German football league. Neto was playing football in Brazil before being added to the Dolphins. Wade and Holmes are both former prominent rugby players.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/8/19

Here are Monday’s minor moves, with more Alliance of American Football players finding NFL homes:

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Signed: DE Karter Schult (AAF)

New York Jets

  • Signed: WR/KR Valentine Holmes (International Player Pathway Program signee)

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Signed: QB Luis Perez (AAF)

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Signed: DT Winston Craig (AAF), LB J.T. Jones (AAF), CB Kameron Kelly (AAF)

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

  • Signed: G Salesi Uhatafe (AAF)

NFL Teams Showing Interest In Rugby Stars

Last year, rugby star Jarryd Hayne signed with the 49ers and tried his hand at the NFL. His stay in the league was short, but there are now a pair of rugby standouts that are hoping to follow his footsteps. Australian Rugby League players Valentine Holmes and Jason Taumalolo tried out for teams on Saturday, as Howard Balzer of BalzerFootball.com tweets.

The Bills, Bears, Browns, Packers, Colts, Jaguars, Chiefs, Rams, Jets, Eagles, Chargers, Seahawks, Cardinals, and the 49ers were all in attendance for the workout (Twitter link). Taumalolo, 23, and Holmes, 21, ran passing routes, underwent speed and agility tests, and ran the 40-yard dash, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Taumalolo hears that he could project to fullback, tight end, or linebacker while Holmes was pegged as a wide receiver or safety.

At least four NFL teams expressed interest in taking a second look at the duo, the Australian Associated Press reports. Scouts from the Packers, Eagles, Jets, Chiefs and Cardinals appeared to be the most interested. The AAP writes that both players intend on fulfilling their NRL contracts for 2017, but one has to imagine that they could change their minds if presented with an NFL offer.