Ivan Cleary is absolutely correct in saying Michael Jennings is not worth $650,000. Simply put, no centre is worth that much.
I am waiting for the chorus of Roarers hounding me about Souths and Greg Inglis. But he is not a $650,000 as a centre, he’s a fullback well worth that and then some.
In modern rugby league, unless you are truly sensational, big dollars are not coming your way unless you are a number 1, 6 or 7. One could debate this is not new.
Most of the greats were forwards with an ability to offload or played 1, 6 or 7. Cameron Smith is a modern exception but in another team or era he would have played in the halves.
Getting back to Jennings, the Panthers have cleared the decks for their coach to be able to get ‘his team’.
I am not saying Jennings will not perform, but you need to understand something about the coach at Penrith. Cleary was no exceptional talent, he was a toiler. He put in a 100% every week. He was a Jason Taylor or a Greg Florimo, not an Andrew Johns or Bob Fulton.
This does not mean he dislikes players with natural ability, he just would not understand players that don’t give a 100% all the time.
Jennings would need hot wind and ego stroking. Cleary does not offer this and Phil Gould would laugh it.
Still, I think Jennings will thrive with the change. Some players need one to re-ignite their passion and career.