Eels star ‘on the radar’ of rival as ‘concerned’ teammates talk to club: Transfer Whispers 640w, 768w" layout="responsive" attribution="test" i-amphtml-ssr="" data-hero="" class="i-amphtml-layout-responsive i-amphtml-layout-size-defined i-amphtml-element i-amphtml-built i-amphtml-layout" i-amphtml-layout="responsive" i-amphtml-auto-lightbox-visited="" lightbox="i-amphtml-auto-lightbox-0">81b5b65ee3ed40c597a67b45effc2254 640w, 768w" alt="SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 07: Dylan Brown of the Eels reacts before the round nine NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Sydney Roosters at Bankwest Stadium on May 07, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)" data-hero="" />SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 07: Dylan Brown of the Eels reacts before the round nine NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Sydney Roosters at Bankwest Stadium on May 07, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Staff Writers from Fox Sports
November 27th, 2021 10:26 am

Parramatta’s pain could get even worse with a rival circling yet another star, while the club is going to have to “pay overs” to keep a big-name player.

Meanwhile, the loss of Marate Niukore, Isaiah Papali’i and Reed Mahoney for the 2023 season is reportedly worrying other players and they have raised their concerns with the club.

And three star hookers have already been shopped to the Eels as a replacement for Mahoney.

The 2023 roster is a sore point for Eels fans and things could get even worse.

Social media was sent into a spin when it was revealed on Thursday that star hooker Reed Mahoney had signed a four-year deal with the Bulldogs, to begin in 2023.

The news came exactly one week after fellow Eel Isaiah Papali’i signed with the Wests Tigers and two weeks after Marate Niukore signed with the Warriors.

And now gun five-eighth Dylan Brown is the latest Eel to be linked to a rival club, with Channel 7’s Michelle Bishop tellingSEN: “Dylan Brown is another one, the Warriors are keen, he is on their radar.”

Brown comes off contract at the end of 2022 and has flown under the radar with much of the attention being on the future of Mahoney, Niukore, Papali’i, Junior Paulo and Clint Gutherson.

It’s been a bloodbath at Parramatta headquarters lately, however there was one positive when Gutherson finally signed an extension after drawn-out negotiations.

But the skipper’s lengthy talks, as well as reports about what the Eels offered Papali’i and Mahoney, has put the club under intense scrutiny for lowballing players.

Papali’i knocked back Parramatta’s two-year extension offer at $425,000-per-season. The Tigers pounced and locked in the Dally M Second Rower of the Year on a three-year deal at $600,000-per-season.

It was a similar scenario with Mahoney who the Eels tabled an initial offer to and then upped it but it still fell close to $100,000 short of the $650,000 salary the Bulldogs offered.

The attention now turns to Paulo, who has had interest from Wayne Bennett at the Dolphins.

Bishop told SEN that she believes Paulo will likely stay at the Eels but the club will have to fork out the cash now that they’ve lost so many players.

“If I’m Parramatta I’m escorting (Junior Paulo) into the boardroom and ask him how much does he want. They’ll have to, they’re in no other position, they’ll have to pay overs for him,” she said.

“I can’t see him moving on to be honest. That’s one player I believe will stay, that’s my gut feeling.”

Bishop also revealed that there is concern amongst some players around what the 2023 roster will look like.

“There were reports around Parramatta not being interested in Nick Cotric. I can tell you now there’s some players that are asking ‘please, can we do something? We need to bring someone here.’

“That’s what level of conversation that players are getting involved in. They are concerned.”

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    • Biggest mistake in EELS history - the extension of BA after 8 years at the helm. An absolute moronic decision and I'll be proven right.

      • Extending Gutho wasn’t real bright either, but they are done now so we have to make the best of it 

        • Look out , Poppa will be after you for daring to mention how we shoud've cut Gutho off at the ego weeks and weeks ago. 

          • Nah Pop is treading carefully for the moment, I’m hoping someone will set him off in the next day or two lol

      • Yep you will frank 

      • You'll be proven right!

        Well stranger things have happened. There is a first time for everything lol

        • I can't help it if you can't see, feel, smell or touch my wisdom........

  • For a team that hasn't won anything, we sure do have a lot of in demand players. We do need to hold onto a few of the guys remaining but do we blow the salary cap in doing so. The storm are loosing a lot of their stars but everyone expects them to continue on their winning ways and rightly so, but our history doesn't allow us to be seen in the same light. As we all know, BA can get average players and turn them into stars as well as turning juniors into in demand players like Ice, Niukore, Mahoney, Paulo and Brown to name a few. 

    The players moving on will still be with us next season and I have no doubt a few more of our juniors will get some game time which should clear the picture up a bit more as the season goes on so as much as what has been happening is great for the media, the facts are we really don't know whats next. Who will we sign, who will shine and how will our juniors go. Will Penisini is one I'm super excited to see next year along with The Dunster and Sean Russell and I wonder what we really do have coming through. Is Wiremu the next Fuifui, plenty of talk about Hand. As much as I'm disappointed in loosing some of the players that will be moving on, it also opens the door for the next generation of Eels and that is an exciting prospect.

    Lets face it, if we signed all those players leaving to huge contracts the media would be canning us for paying overs for a team that hasn't won anything.

    • Coach, excellent post and one that's very believable. Watching not just the team list but also the reports on training from sixties on the Cumberland throw, there's a number of new faces in the squad, and not a few younger ones, with several already showing not just promise but abilities.

      There is but one factor that the eels need as a club and that is a full year of RL at every level, especially with the number of young players that are developing very well at this point of time. the last thing we need though, would be another disrupted season in the Knock on cup, following the last 2 years where there was nothing for the younger players as the comps got marooned.

      What really also needs to be incorporated into the team is the element of the Covid desease that has not just taken life, but wrecked much of team sports across the board in this and last season.  

      The big thing for me is not just following the NRL team but also to have the lower age comp play out the same season as the NRL team, and locked in with the opposition team that also has a team and they play on same day, ground and as the old comps had it, as a preliminary comp/match prior to the NRL team. They play for same length of time and the end of the game no more than 30minutes before the main game. Affectively its a reserves team, allows for supporters to see current and future players of the same club and where all are heading.

      • Well said Colin

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