Former Bulldogs captain James Graham has said the Dolphins would need to offer Cameron Munster the biggest per-season deal in the history of the NRL in order to pry him away from Melbourne, as the expansion franchise continues to hunt a marquee man for their future.
Graham’s comments on Triple M came after journalist Ben Dobbin declared “in 2024 Munster is a Dolphin, that’s my gut”.
“I think it’ll be a four year deal,” Dobbin added, agreeing with Gorden Tallis’ prediction that the contract would be worth around $6 million over that period.
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“We all know Wayne has got the structures in place around what he thinks players are worth, and how that affects the salary cap – but look at some of these players in this rich list that are out there,” Graham said in response.
The rich list, which was published in The Daily Telegraph over the weekend, lists Nathan Cleary as the highest paid player in the NRL at $1.3 million per year. Graham said Munster would likely set back the Dolphins to contract in the region of $1.5 million-a-season.
“A lot of them are people [on this rich list] who are playing at the club they’ve been at for a long time. I think for Munster to go onto the open market, to go to a new franchise team… he’ll be the highest paid player in the game.”
Dobbin put forward Latrell Mitchell as a ‘smoky’ to reunite with Bennett in Brisbane, but a departure from the Rabbitohs seems exceptionally unlikely; by all accounts, Mitchell is as happy as he’s ever been, and loves the club.
Future moves involving players like Mitchell were the entire reason for letting Adam Reynolds leave – and the Rabbitohs are hopeful of inking not only their star fullback, but also Cody Walker and Damien Cook to extensions in the coming weeks.
Coach Jason Demetriou told the Sun-Herald he was ‘very confident’ that all three would be extending their stay. The trio are currently all off-contract at the end of next season.
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Former NRL enforcer Tallis laughed off suggestions of Mitchell reuniting with Bennett in Queensland, saying it was too far away from the Rabbitohs star’s farm near Taree.
“There’s a bigger picture for him,” Tallis said.
Taree, in northern NSW, is a three-and-a-half hour drive from Redfern, and Mitchell regularly commutes between the two places – a much harder route if he were in Brisbane.
“I’ve never seen a guy more settled – and going back to country, and doing what he’s doing, that’s more important to Latrell now than money,” Tallis said.
“I actually think the balance he’s got in his life, especially at this moment in time, I think he’s the happiest. You just watch him play, the way he’s talking.”
On the back of some of the best footy of his young career, Mitchell and the Rabbitohs are surging.
Since his return from injury, Souths have won six out of seven, including three against top eight teams – their only loss coming in golden point against the Sharks.
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