Ugly ‘stink’ sours Hayne fairytale
RUGBY league journalist Paul Kent has slammed Jarryd Hayne's return to Parramatta from the Gold Coast, slamming the NRL to allow a deal that "stinks" to go through.
Hayne signed a one-year contract with the Eels last week for a reported $500,000 a season, a far cry from the $1.2 million a year he was earning at the Titans.
Despite still being contracted to the Gold Coast, Hayne told the club he wished to leave to be closer to his young daughter, who lives in NSW.
The NRL reportedly must take into account a player's value before giving the OK to any deal, and Kent - from The Daily Telegraph - was furious the sport's governing body permitted Hayne's walkout with the knowledge he was taking a $700,000 pay cut to allow Parramatta to remain under the salary cap.
"To be honest, I think the whole thing stinks. I think there's a smell about this," Kent told Fox Sports News.
"I don't see how the NRL can justify Jarryd Hayne taking a $1.2 million deal, walking out on it and being allowed to get under the cap at Parramatta for $500,000.
"I've got no concept of me can figure out why that's a fair deal.
"The NRL, I've spoken to them today about it, they've argued that's what Jarryd's current market value is, but how do you establish that?"
Kent maintained the rage on NRL 360 on Monday night, saying if any other player made a similar move the NRL would need to investigate for a possible salary cap "rort".
He also said Parramatta being found guilty last year of cheating the salary cap added an ugly twist to the situation, which should make the NRL even more keen to look into the specifics of Hayne's return.
"How they can allow any player in the competition to go from a $1.2 million deal to another club for $500,000 and not investigate it as a salary cap rort (is beyond me)," Kent said.
"I can't see how any other player in the competition can be allowed to take that pay cut and still be declared legitimate under the salary cap the way it works.
"The NRL said if you went to the open market he would be worth $500,000 or $600,000 but the fact is he's not on the open market. He has a current contract worth $1.2 million then quit to take a $500,000 deal and we're all going to say, 'Nothing to see here, move along' at a club which a year ago was cheated busting the salary cap."
One of Kent's issues is Hayne didn't go on the open market, preventing other clubs from making a play for the representative superstar and offering him similar money if not more than what the Eels put on the table.
"I'm thinking the NRL says to Parramatta if he wants to come back that's fine but you pay proper market value," Kent said.
"By the time every other club found out about it (Hayne's availability) he'd been signed.
"There's a stink that a player is allowed to sign at one club and walk out on $1.2 million, to sign at another club without going to market for half that and we don't even investigate it."
Hayne thanked his former side for offering him a second chance last week.
"As I said yesterday, my decision to return to Sydney wasn't taken lightly so I am grateful that (coach) Brad (Arthur) and the Eels have offered me the opportunity to return to the club," Hayne told the Eels' website on Friday night.
"Eels members and fans have been behind me throughout my career and I want to use this second chance to repay that faith and support.
"I look forward to returning to training in early January 2018 and am keen to work hard and play my part for the team in building on last year's finals run."
It remains to be seen where Hayne will fit into coach Brad Arthur's side. His best football has always been played while at fullback.
However, either Clint Gutherson or Bevan French is more likely to fill the No. 1 jersey while Mitch Moses and Corey Norman would appear to have a mortgage on the halves spots.
- with AAP