Knights dangle massive payday
MATT Scott is seeking a $2.5 million payday and will tour Newcastle’s set-up in the strongest sign yet the Maroons enforcer is considering quitting the Cowboys.
The off-contract star has been formally invited to visit Newcastle headquarters as the Knights hierarchy prepare to table a big-money deal for the Maroons prop.
Scott will face the Roosters in a pre-season trial tonight in Mackay, but his long-term future in Townsville is uncertain as the embattled Knights up the ante for his signature after having already stolen Cowboys young gun Kalyn Ponga for 2018.
Knights coach Nathan Brown was hoping to meet Scott this week for formal talks. The Cowboys bookend delayed the trip, with his heavily pregnant wife set to give birth to their second child.
But the fact Scott is interested in visiting the Knights is evidence the Test front-rower will explore every option as he mulls over the final contract of his decorated NRL career.
Scott’s management is seeking $2.5 million over three years. The Knights have yet to table a formal offer but have discussed a two-year deal worth $800,000 annually, with the possibility of an option for a third season in 2020.
It is understood the Cowboys’ two-year package, which includes an option in the club’s favour for 2019, is worth around $1.2 million.
That means Scott, who turns 32 in July, stands to sacrifice around $1 million if he opts to stay loyal to the Cowboys.
One concern for the Knights is Scott’s history with back and neck injuries. But Newcastle are confident club medico Tony Ayoub, who has worked with Scott in Australian teams, can manage his body for at least another two years.
Maroons skipper Cameron Smith fielded a massive offer from the Broncos two years ago, only to stay loyal to Melbourne, and urged his Origin engine-room cohort to consider his options.
“It would be ideal to finish as a one-club player, but he’s got a young family and he’s got his second child on the way,” Smith said.
“If he’s getting offers from other clubs significantly higher than what the Cowboys are offering then I don’t see why he can’t look at that.
“I don’t think any player would begrudge him for making the decisions to change clubs.
“I think he’d love to stay a one-club player, there’s no doubt about that. But you do have to look after yourself first.
“The game is a business, clubs look after their best interests as well and Scotty will do the same. I hope it all pans out for him.”
OFF-CONTRACT: Matt Scott.