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NY Jets tempt Inglis with slice of The Big Apple ADRIAN PROSZENKO

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NY Jets tempt Inglis with slice of The Big Apple ADRIAN PROSZENKO

May 23, 2010

Greg Inglis has attracted interest from another cashed-up cross-code rival - but it's not rugby or AFL.

The Sun-Herald can reveal that a senior official from the New York Jets NFL team has made an unsolicited approach to the Maroons superstar. Inglis is under contract to Melbourne until the end of 2012 but could be forced out of the embattled club after it was busted rorting the salary cap.

The Storm centre has plenty of options, with AFL franchises GWS and Essendon - as well as nine NRL clubs - expressing interest should he become a free agent. The wild card in the equation could be the chance to join the National Football League, where the money available would dwarf anything on offer in Australia. Australian-based NFL scouting agency OzPunt has received an email from a Jets official - seen by The Sun-Herald - inquiring about Inglis's availability for trials in New York. The official, from the club's player personnel department, became interested after word of Inglis's athletic ability filtered through to the US football ranks.

''He could go any time he wants but there could be an opportunity for him to trial after the last round of the NRL,'' OzPunt representative Paul Shepherd said. ''They'd put him through a variety of drills and then they'd talk to him about where his best position would be.'' Shepherd said he believed Inglis would be best suited as a punt receiver or an outside linebacker. He added that Inglis would be able to earn a six-figure training contract in his first year if he impressed scouts. He could land a contract worth more than $1 million if he made it to the big time. With the Storm out of finals contention, Inglis could fly to the States for a trial before returning for the Kangaroos' Four Nations campaign in October.

Shepherd said he was wary of being linked to NRL players, believing several had used his organisation as a bargaining tool to prop up their market value. Previously, Willie Mason, Cory Paterson, Todd Carney, Israel Folau, Sam Thaiday and Manu Vatuvei have expressed interest in the NFL. However, Mason is the only one to have attended a trial, coincidentally with the Jets.

''He [inglis] would be absolutely sensational at the back,'' Shepherd said. ''Imagine him returning the ball with three or four blokes blocking for him. But from our perspective, we've been burnt by NRL players before and are cautious about being used.

''The Jets contacted us about Greg - it wasn't the other way around. If he's serious, we can organise trials but we wouldn't be doing another thing until we heard from Greg or his manager.

''There is an opportunity for NRL players [to play NFL] but to date they haven't been taking it seriously. It's a matter of who wants to be the first to crack the door down.''

The Jets are no strangers to Australian talent. Former Geelong AFL star Ben Graham spent four years in the Big Apple as a punter.

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