New Zealand Warriors are facing scrutiny along with their controversial talent scout Peter O’Sullivan as the team tried to lure the Parramatta youngster Dylan Brown with a $3 million deal. Bringing Brown across the Tasman could be considered a breach of anti-tampering rules of the NRL. The Warriors made an offer to the rookie playmaker earlier which would provide the teenager the biggest ever contract for a player who hasn’t even played a single first-grade game, as noted by the Herald.
It is not the amount of the deal but the fact that Brown is signed with the Eels till the end of 2020 season that is catching the attention of the NRL. The current rules suggest that teams willing to begin talks with players of other teams can only do so on November 1, a year before their contract expires.
The Warriors contract would have made Brown a part of their team till the end of 2025 season. The base pay for all seasons between 2020 and 2025 adds up to $NZ2.8m with an additional $NZ60,000 for relocation expenses. If Brown is able to secure a release from his current team, the Warriors will accommodate Brown in their full-time squad in 2019 too.
The offer states, “$NZ to be advised should Parramatta release Dylan if he signs with the Warriors for season 2020 subject to salary cap levels.”
Brown’s is currently on a two-year development contract with the Eels getting $60,000 per season, and the team doesn’t want to let go of the teenager. They are considering extending his tenure at Paramatta.
The NRL is looking closely into the Warriors’ luring of Brown to find if they broke the rules. If the NRL finds them guilty, the club and O’Sullivan could receive sanctions. The talent-spotter was recently brought to Warriors after being deregistered by the NRL in 2016. Cameron George, the chief executive of Warriors, said on Sunday that they did not breach the anti-tampering regulations deliberately. We said that they approach Brown on the understanding that he will be off contract with the Eels in 2019. He noted that Brown’s agent later clarified that he has a variation in his contract that could keep him with Parramatta till the end of 2020.
The deal sent to Brown’s manager in November shows that the Warriors are desperate to find a replacement for Shaun Johnson, the Kiwi halfback. As soon as the team noted that Johnson wasn’t part of their long-term plans, their relationship soured after which he was released from his contract to join Cronulla. The 18-year-old Brown could be the long-term prospect the team is looking for, and the multi-million-dollar deal shows the promise that the young player could bring to them.
The offer made to Brown brings $300,000 for 2020, $350,000 for 2021, $450,000 in 2022, $500,000 for 2023, $550,000 for 2024 and $650,000 for 2025 to his bankroll. He will also be given a “sizeable amount” to buy a house when he returns to Auckland. Paramatta officials are furious about the attempts made by the Warriors.