Latrell Mitchell is still being paid an estimated $60,000-a-month as he sits back and contemplates his footballing future in the countdown to Christmas.
But this whopping monthly salary has now emerged as a possible hidden agenda that is potentially stalling rivals clubs from tabling an offer to take the disillusioned young star off the Sydney Roosters’ hands immediately. This latest twist comes as speculation intensifies that the North Queensland Cowboys have again emerged as a genuine contender to the Gold Coast to sign Mitchell with the Cowboys said to be a club Mitchell is showing a serious interest in for a lifestyle change as much as anything.
The drawn out saga could still have several twists and turns to come as both the Cowboys and Gold Coast try to work out a possible way to free up enough salary cap space to make a serious play for Mitchell. The longer it drags out the more cash Mitchell’s future club could potentially save.
Given NRL contracts run between November and October, Mitchell would have been paid his first month’s salary from the Roosters and will have another payment due in December.
On an estimated annual contract of between $650,000 and $700,000 for next season, that would equate to almost $120,000 before he is even required back at pre-season training in January.
It is speculated the Roosters may eventually chip in even more money to get Mitchell out the door, so they don’t have to send him back to NSW Cup to play with the North Sydney Bears next year.
Elsewhere, the Canberra Raiders have secured the services of one of the NRL’s most outstanding young centres with Curtis Scott officially signing a four-year deal.
The former Melbourne Storm centre is considered one of the toughest and most talented in the comp and will be a huge long-term acquisition for the Raiders.
Scott’s move was one of several high-profile transfers on Friday.
Trent Merrin will make a St George Illawarra return while the Dragons are also chasing another Super League player Brayden Wiliame, who previously played 29 games for Parramatta and Manly in the NRL. Merrin will join St George Illawarra on a two-year deal returning to the club he made his debut at in 2009 after gaining a release from Super League club Leeds.
The move impacts a host of players, with his 2010 premiership teammate Matt Prior taking his place at the Rhinos, easing significant salary cap pressure at the Sharks.
Merrin’s arrival will also allow Luciano Leilua to take up a multi-year deal to join the Wests Tigers immediately after being granted an early release from his Dragons deal.
South Sydney Rabbitohs star Cody Walker is at a crossroads after negotiations over a new contract hit a roadblock.
The Daily Telegraph reports the Rabbitohs tabled a two-year extension worth about $650,000 a season — a deal way under the $850,000 a season Walker’s team were understood to be chasing.
Zac Lomax is set to sign the longest deal in St George Illawarra history after agreeing to a monster six-year contract.
The in-demand Lomax, 20, has rejected interest from a host of clubs, including Wests Tigers and Canberra, for a deal worth about $3 million in a massive show of faith for the struggling Dragons.
Tetevano and his mole sign with Panthers.(Not his partner)
The 29-year-old joins Panthers from Sydney Roosters, where he was part of the NRL squad that claimed back-to-back premierships.
“I love what I see here at the Panthers and I’m genuinely excited to be part of it,” Tetevano said.