Super League player’s NRL switch could be closer after Kiwi star signs mega eight-year deal

It was reported yesterday that Dylan Brown, the 22-year-old Kiwi international, had re-signed with his current side Parramatta Eels on a huge eight-year extension deal.

Brown had been reportedly subject to bids and contract offers from over half the league but has finally penned a deal with his current club, whom he helped lead to the Grand Final this past season.

Whilst the news has understandably made big news down under it also has a huge impact over in Super League as it’s the first domino to fall in a transfer saga involving John Bateman of Wigan Warriors.

Bateman is reportedly subject of a huge pursuit from Wests Tigers and his wife and child have already made the move down under but Tigers pursuit of the Eels other star, Mitchell Moses, had delayed any potential move for Bateman with Tigers trying to balance cap space.

With Brown extending being the first domino, reports now claim that Wests could hold their pursuit of Moses till the 2024 season opening the door for the potential Bateman signing.

Per The Sydney Morning Herald, Brown is guaranteed to stay with the Eels until 2025, and after that the player options become involved. The additional six years are split into two segments, if Brown decides to stay beyond the end of his first two years.

Brown will have options to extend in the 2026 and 2027 seasons, and then prior to the 2028 season for which he will be 27. After that he can then choose to complete the contract and remain for a further four years until the end of 2031.

This will give Brown huge power to command contract attention from other clubs when he re-negotiates or confirms his extensions and therefore could set a massive precedent of player power in the league.

Whilst there have been contracts longer than eight years, notably the incredible ten-year extension for Jason Taumalolo with the North Queensland Cowboys, there has never been a six-year option deal which will give Brown a lot of flexibility and options should he decide to leave Parramatta, unlike Taumalolo who is effectively locked in with the Cowboys.

The club told Australian media site Zero Tackle: “He’s an Eels junior and only 22. We want to keep him for life but also understand that at his age it’s important to have flexibility.”

Brown himself had said: ““I left New Zealand to pursue an NRL career when I was 15, and the Eels have been home for me ever since. It’s been an amazing journey so far, and the Club has an exciting future that I want to be part of for a long time.”

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