-NEWS- Badel: Real reason Croft left Melbourne

Gaz

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It's a chance I suppose. Either way, they won't need a Halfback until Smith retires. I guess by then they're hoping Johns will have developed enough to step in. Either way, it made Croft at 400k and needing a starting Halfback gig to justify his salary, an easy one for Melbourne to let go to ease any pressure on their cap.
Yes and an easy one for both the Broncs and player to strike a deal.
 

Jedhead

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If I recall correctly Bellyache was a tad miffed when the pic of Siebs and Croft meeting in Sydney was published. This suggests that Storm had no intention of letting Croft go and that he took the initiative after being unceremoniously dumped before the finals kicked off.

No doubt he was hurting from the demotion. The proof as they say will be in the pudding. If he runs riot in both games against the Storm that will speak volumes to me.
 

Sproj

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People are honestly reading way too much into this in my opinion. The simplest and most obvious answer is usually the correct one:

If Croft was out the door in isolation, honestly, the whole Smith thing, on top of being demoted before the Finals, would almost certainly appear to hold at least some weight.

He wasn't though. Melbourne have lost a host of players this off season and they've barely made a dent in the player market to replace them. To me that screams cap issues. Croft wasn't on huge money, but if the $400k figure is correct, then it's not exactly peanuts either.

They already have Munster who is their star Half, Jahrome Hughes, who Bellamy loves, and Papenhuyzen who exploded onto the scene last year and basically forced his way into the squad. That left one man on the outer and for better or worse Bellamy obviously decided that was Croft. If Croft at $400k can be replaced by Cooper Johns at basement price, and both of them spend the year coming off the bench or playing Queensland Cup, it's probably fair to say they are better going with Johns as value for money.

The icing on the cake that really cements my opinion though is the way Cam Smith's game has shifted in the last season or two. As Cronk and then Slater have departed, we've seen Smith taking on an even greater play making presence in the Storm side, effectively playing two roles at the same time.

Smith has probably one season left in him, Bellamy has also already indicated the expiration of his current deal will probably see him retire from Coaching too. This gives them probably one more roll of the dice to retire with another Premiership in the bag.

If the consensus amongst those two is that the best way to achieve this is by using Smith as both Dummy Half and Halfback, then honestly, Croft is basically redundant in that setup. He's an out and out Halfback and if Smith is going to do that job instead, then Croft has little to offer in any other role. Jahrome Hughes is a far stronger ball runner and can work off the back of Smith and Munster's play making to add a further dimension to the Storm attack.

This plan obviously didn't work out in the 2019 finals, but with a full off season up their sleeves, anything is really possible once those combinations have had more time to gel.

Only time will tell if the plan and the payoff are worth it. For many Storm fans I'm sure a Premiership would justify the loss of Croft in the future. Either way, Smith and Bellamy won't have to hang around to deal with the fallout as they'll both likely be retired, so you can objectively see why a gamble like this wasn't a hard one for them to make.
I think you've read too much into it to be honest - the point is it is another article with an extremely misleading headline. Does not even answer the point in the title.
 

BroncsFan

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If I recall correctly Bellyache was a tad miffed when the pic of Siebs and Croft meeting in Sydney was published. This suggests that Storm had no intention of letting Croft go and that he took the initiative after being unceremoniously dumped before the finals kicked off.

No doubt he was hurting from the demotion. The proof as they say will be in the pudding. If he runs riot in both games against the Storm that will speak volumes to me.
From memory I think the meeting with Seibs was just before the roosters vs storm finals game?

Which would mean Croft had been dropped for about 2-3 weeks at that point with little indication that he was getting his spot back... I'm not even sure if Croft was in the 21 man squad for the roosters final (he probably was but can't remember)... I believe he didn't travel to Sydney with the squad though.

Bellamy had some whinge that he wasn't aware of Croft meeting with Seibs, but that seems unlikely as Croft had 2 years on his contract so we couldn't be talking to him directly without their approval (and we clearly did it in public view as noted by 1910 in other posts).... and I daresay the recruitment team at storm aren't making decisions on a halfback without asking if Bellamy wants him around first (ie. he would've been aware of Croft's intentions and given him his blessing to talk to other teams).

I tend to agree with Kooley that it was cap related and Croft was an asset they could move on to give them some cash... Croft was probably told, in the same way that Kodi, Kahu, etc. were told, that if they can secure their future elsewhere they won't stand in their way.
 

kooly87

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From memory I think the meeting with Seibs was just before the roosters vs storm finals game?

Which would mean Croft had been dropped for about 2-3 weeks at that point with little indication that he was getting his spot back... I'm not even sure if Croft was in the 21 man squad for the roosters final (he probably was but can't remember)... I believe he didn't travel to Sydney with the squad though.

Bellamy had some whinge that he wasn't aware of Croft meeting with Seibs, but that seems unlikely as Croft had 2 years on his contract so we couldn't be talking to him directly without their approval (and we clearly did it in public view as noted by 1910 in other posts).... and I daresay the recruitment team at storm aren't making decisions on a halfback without asking if Bellamy wants him around first (ie. he would've been aware of Croft's intentions and given him his blessing to talk to other teams).

I tend to agree with Kooley that it was cap related and Croft was an asset they could move on to give them some cash... Croft was probably told, in the same way that Kodi, Kahu, etc. were told, that if they can secure their future elsewhere they won't stand in their way.
100% agree. No way in the world was Bellamy not in the loop for such a public meeting. His comments afterwards were far more likely to be about publicly showing some reluctance to release Croft so that it put pressure back on Brisbane to cede to more of Melbourne's demands to get the deal through, which again suggests this had everything to do with getting as much of Croft's salary of the books as possible and nothing to do with any personality clashes etc.
 

kooly87

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I don’t think we need a ‘saviour’. We just need a decent halfback, like every team does and I hope that’s what he can bring.

If he turns out to be a superstar halfback, even better.
This is 100% correct.

Realistically, for around $400k minus whatever Melbourne had to kick in, I really don't see how we could have got a better buy for our money.
 
Croft was average in 2019 but he was getting some really shit ball. He was squeezed onto the skinny short side 90% of the time and was expected to come up with something. It will be interesting to see how he goes with more control, he looked good in the junior kangaroo game without Smith bossing him around.
 

kooly87

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Just wanted to add to my earlier posts that the Storm and Tigers swap deal involving Harry Grant and Paul Momirovski is now being held up because of the NRL having concerns with Melbourne's salary cap position.

This is the same Melbourne who have already lost Chambers, Croft, Joe Stimson, Solomone Kata, Curtis Scott and Billy Walters - and their only gain besides internal promotions was Ryley Jacks from the Gold Coast.

So dire is their cap position even after losing all those players and replacing them with basement rookies, that they can't even trade a rookie in Grant for a slightly above rookie player in Momirovski.

If that doesn't honestly tell you basically everything you need to know about why someone like Bodie Croft on $400k had to be released, then honestly, I don't know what else you could be looking for.
 
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Sproj

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So how much exactly are Smith, Munster and Bromwich being paid? They don't have much else on their books aside from Addo-Carr and he is out of there too.
 

kooly87

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So how much exactly are Smith, Munster and Bromwich being paid? They don't have much else on their books aside from Addo-Carr and he is out of there too.
Well the Smith deal is obviously huge, he's amongst the highest paid, if not THE highest paid, player in the game. Munster's most recent deal was reported at $3.6 million over 4 years, so he's on big money as well. Bromwich's last contract came in 2017 when he was still a Rep player and probably their best Forward so you could assume that was good money too. Addo-Carr is also staying put at this point, so you can add his no doubt pretty solid contract to their number this year too.

They also had to upgrade Papenhuyzen to retain him amongst a heap of interest from elsewhere, so I doubt that came cheap. Then you've got the same problem that most successful teams have where regular squad players just gradually bracket creep and increase in price: Finucane who broke into the Origin squad, K.Bromwich and Brandon Smith who both broke into the Kiwis setup (Smith had to be upgraded in 2019) Jahrome Hughes re-signed in 2018 as the replacement for Slater so that would have cost them too.

I actually think this year they'ye having the same moment we had coming into 2019 where we just had so many guys who had been around a while and had just gradually increased in price and needed to be cleaned out and replaced by younger, cheaper guys who could provide a similar output. The only real difference is they've been to recent Grand Finals and we've just scraped into the Top 8.
 
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1910

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Just wanted to add to my earlier posts that the Storm and Tigers swap deal involving Harry Grant and Paul Momirovski is now being held up because of the NRL having concerns with Melbourne's salary cap position.

This is the same Melbourne who have already lost Chambers, Croft, Joe Stimson, Solomone Kata, Curtis Scott and Billy Walters - and their only gain besides internal promotions was Ryley Jacks from the Gold Coast.

So dire is their cap position even after losing all those players and replacing them with basement rookies, that they can't even trade a rookie in Grant for a slightly above rookie player in Momirovski.

If that doesn't honestly tell you basically everything you need to know about why someone like Bodie Croft on $400k had to be released, then honestly, I don't know what else you could be looking for.
I don't think it's salary cap issues in regards to the Storm being over the cap but the system is not set up to support this swap, The contracts have to be terminated and new one year deals signed and then revert back to their old deals for 21 and 22. I would assume Momirovski and Grant are on similar size deals so you're not outlaying more.

The money for the one year deals have to be the same, I think the problem is making sure it's flawless and if it becomes a regular thing then there are no issues or problems in the future.

I think Gardham is being very cautious.
 

Sproj

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I don't think it's salary cap issues in regards to the Storm being over the cap but the system is not set up to support this swap, The contracts have to be terminated and new one year deals signed and then revert back to their old deals for 21 and 22. I would assume Momirovski and Grant are on similar size deals so you're not outlaying more.

The money for the one year deals have to be the same, I think the problem is making sure it's flawless and if it becomes a regular thing then there are no issues or problems in the future.

I think Gardham is being very cautious.
Isn't this pretty much what has happened with Kahu?
 

Morkel

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Isn't this pretty much what has happened with Kahu?
Was about to say the same thing. Seemed to me like they were able to nut out the details of that deal overnight and the NRL didn't blink.

If the NRL have an issue with it now, as much as I don't think any ruling can be applied retrospectively, it would be great if they found the Kahu deal invalid and we don't have to cop his stupid contract.
 

kooly87

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I don't think it's salary cap issues in regards to the Storm being over the cap but the system is not set up to support this swap, The contracts have to be terminated and new one year deals signed and then revert back to their old deals for 21 and 22. I would assume Momirovski and Grant are on similar size deals so you're not outlaying more.

The money for the one year deals have to be the same, I think the problem is making sure it's flawless and if it becomes a regular thing then there are no issues or problems in the future.

I think Gardham is being very cautious.
I could be totally wrong, but I don't see how Momirovski and Grant can be on the same money?

I accept they probably aren't leagues apart, but Grant has played two games in two years and he's at Melbourne, a club who have a history of paying their top players and NRL squad well, but running very tight contracts outside of that, and Momirovski was picked up by the Tigers, a club who notoriously overpay for players and he's been a regular part of their NRL setup. He was part of the Roosters finals campaign in 2018 and I just can't see how the Tigers picked him up without putting some decent money on the table?

I'm obviously only speculating, but if Grant was on somewhere around the basement price, Momirovski could easily be on more than double the basement rate now?
 
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soup

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I could be totally wrong, but I don't see how Momirovski and Grant can be on the same money?

I accept they probably aren't leagues apart, but Grant has played two games in two years and he's at Melbourne, a club who have a history of paying their top players and NRL squad well, but running very tight contracts outside of that, and Momirovski was picked up by the Tigers, a club who notoriously overpay for players and he's been a regular part of their NRL setup. He was part of the Roosters finals campaign in 2018 and I just can't see how the Tigers picked him up without putting some decent money on the table?

I'm obviously only speculating, but if Grant was on somewhere around the basement price, Momirovski could easily be on more than double the basement rate now?
Grant is a hugely promising rookie while Momo is avg at best IMO.
 

Sproj

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Grant is a hugely promising rookie while Momo is avg at best IMO.
Sure but that doesn't really have a bearing on the financial argument. Moorooski is an NRL regular basically and Grant is an unproven, albeit highly talented, depth player.
 

soup

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Sure but that doesn't really have a bearing on the financial argument. Moorooski is an NRL regular basically and Grant is an unproven, albeit highly talented, depth player.
Why? Plenty of promising rookies are on surprising salaries. Jayden Nikorima?
 
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