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The Rumours Thread

Dragon David

First Grade
Messages
7,540
You are stressing again DD. Just take a few deep breaths. It can't be good for you. As the old TV ad said "It won't happen overnight, but it will happen!". Now is not the time to panic. I've said before - May 2024 is the time to panic! 😂😂 I really need Flano to be worthy of all the trust I am putting in him.
Thanks for your good as usual advice OED. It's hard though to not at times get a bit uptight. That's the Dragons for you. Cheers.
 

BLM01

First Grade
Messages
9,042
Here is the ultimate proof top-shelf teenage talent in the NRL doesn’t come cheap.
Despite having only one NRL starting game in the bank, boom Cowboys back rower Kulikefu Finefeuiaki is on target to land a massive pay rise that could even push him above Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s salary.
That is the conversation doing the rounds in the NRL player market as clubs headed by Shane Flanagan’s Dragons and Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins lead the charge for 19-year-old sensation.
The speculation is the rampaging Finefeuiaki could fetch offers around $600,000-a-season if he ends up going to the highest bidder as his management negotiates his new deal.
And even if the more conservative estimates are closer to the mark, they reckon on his raw talent alone it would be enough to command in the vicinity of between $450,000 and $500,000 if Finefeuiaki chases the top dollar.
To put that in perspective, the Prime Minister’s salary is listed at $587,000.
Kulikefu Finefeuiaki is a young man in demand as rivals circle the Cowboys youngster. Picture: Cowboys Media /Alix Sweeney

Kulikefu Finefeuiaki is a young man in demand as rivals circle the Cowboys youngster. Picture: Cowboys Media /Alix Sweeney
Another source suggested Finefeuiaki won’t get that type of money for next season, but the offers would be staggered over the term of the contract to have him on the elite money come 2026.
But with a grand total of just 333 minutes of NRL football so far, there is no disputing Finefeuiaki has already emerged as one of the most in demand forwards coming off contract at the end of 2024.
Finefeuiaki’s only starting game was against Gold Coast in round 22 this season.
But his tearaway performances off the bench have been enough to have rivals clambering for his services, although it’s fair to also say the speculated price tag has some legitimately nervous about paying that much money for a rookie with such limited experience.
While others are also watching to see if the Cowboys could be potentially forced to offload another of their exceptional back row talent to keep Finefeuiaki and the other off-contract star, Heilum Luki.
Luki, 22, is also attracting plenty of interest despite some injury setbacks, which has limited him to 13 games this year and 14 last season.
Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins have made no secret of their interest in Kulikefu Finefeuiaki. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins have made no secret of their interest in Kulikefu Finefeuiaki. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Finefeuiaki and Luki are caught up in a logjam of edge back row depth at the Cowboys, that also includes regular starters Jeremiah Nanai and Luciano Leilua, along with two highly touted youngsters in Wil Sullivan and Jamal Shibasaki.
Leilua in particular is seen as a potential target for the Canberra Raiders who are chasing an edge forward.
Not that the Cowboys at this stage are even contemplating potentially offloading any of them if they get their way.
“No. We are not looking to offload any of them,” said recruitment chief Michael Luck.
“In a perfect world we keep all of them together. They are on the right trajectory.
“The last few years I would say they have learnt some pretty valuable lessons. And they have done that as a group. I would think we will see the benefit of that over the next year or two if they all opt to stay together.”
Dragons coach Shane Flanagan is on the lookout for top-tier talent. Picture: Julian Andrews

Dragons coach Shane Flanagan is on the lookout for top-tier talent. Picture: Julian Andrews
Luck said he was not shocked by the interest in Finefeuiaki.
Kulikefu Finefeuiaki made an immediate impact in 2023 with some barnstorming performances. Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images
“He was great the games when he came off the bench. He did a really good job for us,” Luck said.
“No doubt he has got some potential.
“I’m not surprised there is plenty of interest in him.
“But we speak with him and his agent regularly about how things are going. And as I said we are very hopeful we have got the ability to keep both those guys (Finefeuiaki and Luki).”
Whilst I don’t agree with that comparison to the PM and players like Fifita Ponga and Sualli were offered big money before hardly playing 1st grade
And one other opinion I have which may not be popular is those 2 Ciwboy back rows mentioned have more upside than Sua for us in the short to medium term
 

TheRev

First Grade
Messages
8,291
If we got AFB for 2024, I think its 1.2m well spent (some will be TPA), if its a longer contract beginning in 2025.. its a bit different cause by 2026/2027 our roster should be starting to be a bit more settled... and he would be overpaid.. but we have to get there first.

Right now we wont even use our salary cap for 2024 (2 years straight).. we will have to buy a reserve grade prop for depth instead.. and losing games in 2024 does not help us whatsoever attract more names for whats coming in the future.. and somehow all the other clubs manage to fit 15 rep quality players with plenty of 1mill stars.. I think we can manage 2 or 3 of them..

edit: I do want to note that Flanno has given no hint of overpaying for 'anybody' thus far.. either he really believes in holding the purse strings.. or its possible he will spend but only on certain individuals.. but if the journos are remotely close to the truth, he hasnt offered silly numbers for anyone thus far.. even Dearden.
 
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Draginzaaar

Bench
Messages
3,368
At $1.2M, AFB would be way over the top and will inflate several other front rowers salaries. The snow balling effect will certainly raise other players salaries markedly.

The level of the current salary cap I think is $11.45M for the mandatory squad of 30 players at each club. If players like AFB, Tino, Haas etc - and there are many more in the system that you can categorise as being of those 3 players stature, and that isn't including marquee halves, centres and fullbacks, then a club willing to shell out big money to fill the spine with above average players and have a strong forwards contingent, there wouldn't be much left in the cap kitty if any at all.

When the 18th club comes in, well, I don't have any idea what salaries will be like then. The bottom 8 clubs will be scrambling to sign up good players when prices will be ridiculously high and the cap isn't adjusted accordingly.

There was a time when we had a player like Justin Poore playing for us as a front row forward, admittedly over a decade ago now and under Wayne Bennett as our coach. Poore's contract was up and he wanted more but Bennett said that he wouldn't pay a front row forward over $300K a year so Poore left us and joined Parramatta. Now we see what Bennett had decreed has somewhat taken a nose dive because several of the forwards playing nowadays have reached "star" material where in fact the big money should in my opinion be for the top players in the spine.

If AFB can get his greedy hands on a pay cheque in excess of a million dollars, then good luck to him and his managers. It might have detrimental effects for NRL pays in the future.
AFB is already being paid $1M.
 

Gardenia

Juniors
Messages
2,168
We didn't go hard for Tracey...3 year deal... currently injured...3 acl injuries...

Imagine if we signed him...everyone would be whinging about the signing...

We don't sign him....People are whinging that we didn't sign him.
I reject the assertion that my pointing out there are indeed players available equates to whinging
Your just taking a cheap shot and gaslighting
I don’t give a shit what fellow misogynists join in with your bullshit toxic crap .
I know my worth and that you sir are full of it
Your on block so don’t bother replying hero
 

redandwhite4evr

Juniors
Messages
1,827
I reject the assertion that my pointing out there are indeed players available equates to whinging
Your just taking a cheap shot and gaslighting
I don’t give a shit what fellow misogynists join in with your bullshit toxic crap .
I know my worth and that you sir are full of it
Your on block so don’t bother replying hero
In response to the frenetic energizer bunny Gould, the Dragons have adopted a policy of masterly inactivity. Couldn't ask for a bigger contrast. Will be fascinating to see where they end up in 2024.
 

Dragonsteve2

Juniors
Messages
545
I reject the assertion that my pointing out there are indeed players available equates to whinging
Your just taking a cheap shot and gaslighting
I don’t give a shit what fellow misogynists join in with your bullshit toxic crap .
I know my worth and that you sir are full of it
Your on block so don’t bother replying hero
Gardenia, I have been reading your input over many years now - I joined in 2016- and am normally happy to do so. But I must disagree with you here. Get Smarty plays an extremely valuable and time consuming role on this Forum and he never sets out to attack anyone. At various times he has revealed himself to be the politest of gentlemen. I remember one time he was attacked and he disappeared for a month or two because he had had enough. We were all the worse off for his absence in that time. At this stage it seems that he has some positive knowledge that he can't reveal but this has led him to defend the new coach/recruitment officer. I and many others value his role immensely.
 

Dragon David

First Grade
Messages
7,540
Gardenia, I have been reading your input over many years now - I joined in 2016- and am normally happy to do so. But I must disagree with you here. Get Smarty plays an extremely valuable and time consuming role on this Forum and he never sets out to attack anyone. At various times he has revealed himself to be the politest of gentlemen. I remember one time he was attacked and he disappeared for a month or two because he had had enough. We were all the worse off for his absence in that time. At this stage it seems that he has some positive knowledge that he can't reveal but this has led him to defend the new coach/recruitment officer. I and many others value his role immensely.
Here, here Dragonsteve2. Without Getsmarty's contribution on this Forum it would be a dismal situation. He provides so much info for us to read and digest and his comments are always well thought out and clear and definitely not to antagonise anyone. I would like Gardenia to acknowledge this.

We all have a whinge at times and I'm a very bad culprit of this. Several posters would have hit the ignore button because of my whining. Many don't mind it and getsmarty and others just tell me to chill out, which is easy for me to do as I don't like upsetting the apple cart.
 

blacksafake

First Grade
Messages
8,991
Gardenia, I have been reading your input over many years now - I joined in 2016- and am normally happy to do so. But I must disagree with you here. Get Smarty plays an extremely valuable and time consuming role on this Forum and he never sets out to attack anyone. At various times he has revealed himself to be the politest of gentlemen. I remember one time he was attacked and he disappeared for a month or two because he had had enough. We were all the worse off for his absence in that time. At this stage it seems that he has some positive knowledge that he can't reveal but this has led him to defend the new coach/recruitment officer. I and many others value his role immensely.
Well bloody said & I’ll second that
 

blacksafake

First Grade
Messages
8,991
I reject the assertion that my pointing out there are indeed players available equates to whinging
Your just taking a cheap shot and gaslighting
I don’t give a shit what fellow misogynists join in with your bullshit toxic crap .
I know my worth and that you sir are full of it
Your on block so don’t bother replying hero
Wow just Wow.
@Gardenia I think you have gone too far.
I don’t see any cheap shots from @getsmarty towards anyone in any of his valuable posts.
 

Wolfgang90

Juniors
Messages
427
I wouldn't mind us going after Angus Crichton. I assume he's fine now. He can cover edge/middle, he's a rep player but still young & the chooks have a plethora of backrowers so they need to lose at least one. He shouldn't be too expensive either considering his history, I would be happy taking a punt on him.
 

Wolfgang90

Juniors
Messages
427
Terrell May, Billy Smith & Angus Crichton from the Roosters are all off-contract after 2024. If they show similar form/reliability early next season then I hope we target them. They all fill a need for us, are in the sweet spot age & experience wise, while I don't think we would need to pay significant overs for their services.

Terrell - Potential for a starting prop
Billy - Good attacking & defensive centre
Angus - Rep level 2nd rower & can play some mins in the middle.

All 3 areas we need to address moving forward. I think they would do a good job bridging the gap between our older guys & the next generation coming through (halanghau/latus/pasifika tonga/couchmans etc.) We need a few more guys in their mid 20s in our 17 imo
 

thebigredv

First Grade
Messages
5,359
I think a few fans are just a bit on edge atm (maybe due to lack of signings im not sure!), but I think everyones heart is in the right place ^_^
For me the whinging is disproportionate to the abysmal running of our club on and off the field. Not enough whinging if you ask me. At least if people are having a gripe they haven’t faded into the wilderness, which is the saddest end product of the circus we’ve had to endure. Lost fans, past and future.

Got to admire the likes of getsmarty on here who remain calm amidst the slow demise of our club. Pure patience. It is hardly surprising that some on this here forum wouldn’t be having a good old whine about what’s played out.

Those like me, without inside knowledge, are yet to see the change that we wish to see. Flanagan has my support but he must now earn my trust and pull these much talked about signings off.
 

nrlnrl

First Grade
Messages
6,833
I think you look at your middles not just in isolation but as a average cost over a few years

ie
Lawrie $500k pa?
AFB $1.1m pa?
JDB $700k pa?

average $750k each which is pretty close to the mark for the best teams with their 3 starting middles

Sele $450k pa?
MoloF $500k pa?
MoloM $200k pa?
Eisenhuth $200kpa?
CouchmanT $200k pa?
Tuitavake $200k pa?
Fafita $200k pa?
You forgot to include how many seasons these amounts are for. Some people though the current Dragons players you listed are for 1 season. Also, what does pa stand for?
 
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