The Tigers could have to pay between $600,000 to $800,000 for Luke Brooks to play elsewhere if they want to offload their big money halfback with a year remaining on his contract.
Reports Brooks is set to be dropped for Round 16 have sparked rumours the Tigers will look to offload him with a year remaining 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 whopping amount to see him run around against them next season.
“The Tigers will have to chip in a lot of money to make it happen,” Read said on NRL 360.
“He is on big money next year. There has been reports he is on $1.1 to $1.3 million.
“No one is going to pay him that with due respect to Brooks. The Tigers are going to have to chip in a fair chunk.
“But obviously Newcastle were very keen on 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 have a look at Luke Brooks again in the off-season, but it just depends what the Tigers are willing to chip in for him.”
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Phil Rothfield revealed NRL clubs will be willing to pay Brooks $500,000 a season, which will leave the Tigers having to fork out a staggering amount to cover the rest of his contract for 2023.
“I spoke to a couple of recruitment people today seeking interest in Brooks and was told they (Tigers) would have to contribute $600,000 of $1.1 million,” Rothfield said.
“That would make him a $500,000 buy, so you think is that a wise move for the Wests Tigers? Well if they want to move him on it is.
“It is not the first time it has happened. When Ivan Cleary turned up at Penrith he wasn’t happy with the squad that Gus had built.
“He offloaded Waqa Blake, Trent Merrin and Reagan Campbell-Gillard to other clubs and contributed significantly about $800,000 to their salaries.”
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However, Read believes that while paying Brooks a large amount to play elsewhere seems foolish on paper, it could free them up to sign a quality player to bolster their struggling side.
“It is only a one year thing as well and you have got to look at the flip side,” Read said.
“The glass half full approach would be it might clear up $600,000 they can go and buy a player with.”
Paul Kent added that the Tigers already have a ready-made playmaker replacement on their books, which would soften the financial blow.
“Particularly because they have Adam Doueihi and Jackson Hastings ready to play in the halves,” Kent said.
However, Braith Anasta alert the reported extra $200,000 the Tigers reportedly owe Brooks could make it very difficult for the club to make a release worth their while.
“That all sounds well and good, but that extra $200,000 to me is a big thing because if the Dolphins or Newcastle say, we will give him $500,000, they are not going to give him more than $600,000,” Anasta said.
“So they give him $500,000 or $600,000 and he is on $1.3 million, then the Tigers have got to pay $700,000. $700,000 just there you go.”
However, Rothfield believes the fact Brooks only has a year to run on his deal will work in the club’s favour, but warned a final decision will come down to one man.
“Yeah but it is one year,” Rothfield said.
“You know whose decision it will be? Not ours and not Tim Sheens. I think it will be the new coach’s whether it is Cameron Ciraldo or Shane Flanagan.
“Whoever comes in will have to make a call on such a significant player.”
“It is their biggest call,” Read added.
“That is the new coach’s biggest call what he does with Brooks.”