Wayne Bennett has revealed that the Dolphins' pursuit of Cameron Munster is set to enter a second year, with the club willing to wait out his contract in order to get their man.
The Dolphins are the league’s flashy new item and Cameron Munster’s future has been one of the top stories around the rugby league universe. A number of clubs have been in the hunt for the Melbourne Storm five-eighth and Dolphins are one of them.
Cameron’s current club is also a big factor in the battle as obviously they will want him to remain in the same side that he has won two premierships at and strongly contending for a third. The expansion club could offer the Queenslander a deal worth up to $1.2 million per year, whereas on the other hand the Storm have offered a reported two-year, $1.5 million deal, plus an increased payment for the third season.
Many experts and journalists think that the best location for Munster is AAMI Park. I agree with this take, however, I strongly believe that the Dolphins must secure the Australian representative.
He will make the club more of an attraction for other players around the league and would be the cornerstone of the emerging club. After looking over the reported contract offers, obviously Redcliffe is offering more, however Melbourne adding on a third year may pay off.
If Cameron signs the Storm contract, then he would have gained over $2.25 million from three years, compared to the Dolphins deal of $2.4 million over two years. This ultimately shows that the likely higher amount of money would be made north of Brisbane, however, if the five-eighth wants larger security then the best option would be to remain in his debut colours.
The superstar is contracted until the end of the 2023 season; however, franchises could obviously buy out his current contract and have him transitioned by as early as the beginning of 2023. An attempt at having him join early won’t be anything close to easy as the Melbourne Storm have told the Dolphins and Munster’s management team to forget about an early release.
The Dolphins aren’t the only franchise in the race for his signature, as the Dragons, Broncos and Roosters have also been in the talks. The Roosters had fired back at those reports, claiming that Sam Walker and Luke Keary will most definitely remain long-term halves partners.
The Dragons signing Munster wouldn’t be a bad move at all. Talatau Amone is their current No.7 and although he obviously has the right to take some time to find his feet, a superstar like Munster would certainly be a handy partner alongside Ben Hunt.
The Brisbane Broncos are another team who have been circling the Munster signing talk. From a Broncos fan perspective, my thoughts about trying to buy the Origin winner are very mixed. I don’t think we would have a large amount left in the salary cap and I wouldn’t mind if Brisbane allowed Tyson Gamble to develop and become our long term five-eighth.
On the other hand, Adam Reynolds and Munster would be almost the dream halves partners, which would create a lot of pressure on being a top team in the comp.
In conclusion, I think that Munster will certainly want to win another premiership in Melbourne, and if Craig Bellamy leaves, then the chances of him departing would be much higher. I think that if the Storm offers that third year then that would be huge in order to keep him, but if Cameron moves to any club, then I think it will be Dolphins as the mission of building a new club would be very tempting.
The signature of Melbourne’s No.6 needs to be on the top of Wayne Bennet’s hit list.