The Tigers would have to pay between $600,000 and $800,000 to have Luke Brooks play elsewhere if they want to get rid of their big money halfback on another year’s contract.
Reports that Brooks will be retired before Round 16 have sparked rumors that the Tigers will try to relieve the Tigers with one year left on his contract, which is worth up to $1.3 million in the final year of his deal.
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Brent Read believes the Knights and the Dolphins will be in the running for Brooks’ signature, but it will cost the Tigers a huge amount to see him run against them next season.
“The Tigers will have to put in a lot of money to make it happen,” Read told NRL 360.
“He’ll be on the big bucks next year. There are reports that he’s at $1.1 to $1.3 million.
“No one is going to pay him that with respect to Brooks. The Tigers will have to take a big bite.
“But obviously Newcastle were very excited about him in the off-season. They are trying to keep Anthony Milford at the moment but he has a handshake deal with the Dolphins.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Newcastle were to look at Luke Brooks again in the off-season, but it just depends on what the Tigers want to do for him.”
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“I spoke to some recruiters today who were interested in Brooks and was told that they (Tigers) would have to contribute $600,000 or $1.1 million,” Rothfield said.
“That would get him a $500,000 purchase, so do you think that’s a wise move for the Wests Tigers? Well, if they want to move him, so be it.
“It’s not the first time it’s happened. When Ivan Cleary showed up at Penrith, he wasn’t happy with the squad Gus had built.
“He left Waqa Blake, Trent Merrin and Reagan Campbell-Gillard to other clubs and contributed about $800,000 to their salaries.”
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However, Read believes that while paying Brooks a large amount of money to play elsewhere may seem silly on paper, it could free them up from bringing in a quality player to bolster their wrestling side.
“It’s also just a one-year thing and you have to look at the flip side,” Read said.
“The glass half-full approach would be that it could bring in $600,000 that they can use to buy a player.”
Paul Kent added that the Tigers already have a ready-made playmaker replacement on their books, which should soften the financial blow.
“Especially because they have Adam Doueihi and Jackson Hastings ready to play in the half,” said Kent.
However, Braith Anasta warned that the reported additional $200,000 the Tigers allegedly owe Brooks could make it very difficult for the club to make a release worthwhile.
“That all sounds well and good, but I think that extra $200,000 is a great good because if the Dolphins or Newcastle say we’re going to give him $500,000, they won’t give him more than $600,000,” said Anasta.
“So they give him $500,000 or $600,000 and he’s at $1.3 million, then the Tigers have to pay $700,000. $700,000, just there you go.”
However, Rothfield believes the fact that Brooks has only a year left on his contract will work in the club’s favor, but warned that a final decision will come to one man.
“Yeah, but it’s a year,” Rothfield said.
“Do you know whose decision it will be? Not ours and not Tim Sheens’s. I think it will be the new coach’s, be it Cameron Ciraldo or Shane Flanagan.
“Whoever comes in will have to call on such an important player.”
“It’s their biggest call,” Read added.
“That’s the biggest question from the new coach what he’s doing with Brooks.”
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