The saga of David Fifita’s contract status entered a new era today. Instead of getting a decision made before the start of the season as was once suggested, we’ve instead got a new contender. Huzzah.
The Raiders ‘chase’ of David Fifita, which Coach Stuart had effectively ended in mid January when he threw up his hands and said “I dunno, you decide”, has become all the more ridiculous by the apparent entry of the Brisbane Broncos. Their entry is actually not confirmed, as in an offer hasn’t been made, but the Courier Mail is reporting that David is willing to consider an offer, noting that the Broncos have stacks of cash because they lost Thomas Flegler and Herbie Farnworth to the Dolphins for 2024.
The article says those moves cleared up $1.5m of cap space, which might be true if you counted their career earnings. Unfortunately salary caps are a yearly thing, so unless the Broncos are also getting rid of Selwyn Cobbo, getting a special dispensation for TC Robati and perhaps sending another player out the door, all they’ve done is clear enough space to come in at the bottom of the Fifita market. And that assumes they’re not needing to retain anyone else.
But the rub here is that this is less about the interest of someone at the Broncos (this article says ‘powerbrokers’, which frankly could be anyone at Red Hill) and more about the lack of interest by Fifita of elsewhere. The Courier Mail notes that David spoke to his management about the competing deals of the Titians and the Raiders, and liked them so much he’s willing to listen to the Broncos. If you wanted to make a club feel unpretty David, you’re on the right track.
While it’s not closure for the Raiders, it is pretty close. The offer from the Milk has been on the table for so long, in it’s current form, above and beyond what the Titans have offered, and what the Broncos will, that it feels silly to think anything is changing now. One may think Fifita would be better off with the Green Machine, but in the end he’s just not that into you (or me, or more accurately, Canberra).
There was a time where you could find me on a warm summer’s night pouring a whisky and wondering what it would be like to attract a bonafide star like Fifita. The cold of autumn is coming and reality is back. Fifita wants to stay in south-east Queensland for the most money possible. What better way to get them to make their offer a little bit more than to say “we’ll go to your cross-town rivals”? Unfortunately for the Raiders they’re not in south-east Queensland. Yet again foiled by Canberra being located in Canberra.
Instead it seems Fifita is going to do what many flagged earlier in this process – try and play himself into a bit more coin. Given that coin is already on offer in Canberra, you can safely say that hope is over. Most of you had never got on this rickety old bandwagon, but for those who did, you can probably get off (he says to the mirror). If it was a long shot before then let’s call this less likely than Sticky getting through a season without losing his temper. I honestly have no idea how this ends – my guess is with the Gold Coast, or the Roosters (purely on some why not shit). Perhaps Fifita never signs a deal, but just spends the rest of his career playing for massive match payments as he dangles the possibility of a long-term deal above the heads of clubs like the sword of Damocles.
But there’s little pointing to Canberra. The only sure thing now is that the saga will continue, and it will probably end in farce.
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