Star duo in the gun as Knights mull roster 'overhaul'
The Newcastle Knights are reportedly willing to listen to offers for a number of big name players in order to ease a salary cap squeeze.
Fresh off a dominant 46-26 win against the Titans on Sunday afternoon, a host of Newcastle Knights stars could suddenly be available to rivals as the club looks to navigate a salary cap situation.
After finishing 14th last year - and currently sitting 11th this season - the Knights are reportedly looking at making moves in the market to get themselves back to being a consistent finals side.
9news reporter Danny Weidler believes that may involve freeing up salary cap space offering up star duo Daniel Saifiti and Bradman Best to rival clubs.
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"Players for sale is what I'm hearing - it hasn't been denied by Newcastle, I'm hearing rumours they're quite keen to overhaul their roster," he said on Nine's 100% Footy.
"That could include - I'm not saying players are trying to get out - but it could include the likes of (Daniel) Saifiti or Bradman Best leaving the club if the right offer came to Newcastle.
"Now again, this is not player driven, but I'm hearing it's coming out of the club pretty strongly and you look at their roster and maybe it's not quite right for the club."
Knights captain Kalyn Ponga is the highest earner at the club, reportedly on a $1.4 million-a-year salary that'll run until the end of 2027. Saifiti is currently contracted to Newcastle until the end of 2026, after signing a long-term deal two years ago. Best - a club junior - is contracted until the end of 2024.
Asked about the balance of Newcastle's roster, Canterbury Bulldogs general manager Phil Gould believes the Knights may be experiencing problems with its salary cap.
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"I think the concern for them is in an imbalance in the salary cap and your club can get like that sometimes and then it becomes a problem of how you fix that," he said.
"Do you go for a quick fix? Which is actually to let some star players go on big money and then develop a few down the track ... that's hard to do because they're the ones the fans have fallen in love with or do you go to the middle rung, but they're not as easier to sell.
"The management of the salary cap is everything, it's the management of your inventory and the prices you're paying, you've got to have value in your salary cap if you're going to win a premiership."
NRL great Paul Gallen suggested that a few poor seasons had contributed to the expenditure from the Knights salary cap.
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Having inherited a Bulldogs roster that was failing to provide value on the field, Gould provided a perspective on how the cap can fall apart.
"When you're in the cellar you've got to pay overs to get players into your club, sometimes you don't get the marquee players to come to your club and that eats into it as well which is why you've got to have that development system underneath it," he said.
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