Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

Rugby League legend Mark Geyer described Brandon Smith’s future at the Melbourne Storm as “unsustainable”.

That comment came this morning, a few hours before the Storm dropped a bomb when he accused Smith of respecting the club.

And if his position was not tenable before that, it is far less now.

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Smith has a contract with Melbourne for the 2022 season and the club say he will wear the purple jersey until the deal expires in late October.

But the strong wording from Storm boss Justin Rodski suggests Smith will be the least popular guy in the gym from the time he returns to AAMI Park until the day he leaves.

“The statements have deeply offended current and former players, coaches, staff and board members, and the club vehemently rejects comments about the Storm culture,” Rodski said, referring to Smith, who claims there is a large alcohol culture at Storm.

When a relationship gets so sour, it is generally best to break the bonds as soon as possible.

Smith would have to request a release from his contract, and Storm gives it so he could leave prematurely. But after the last 24 hours of incidents, it now seems very likely.

The question then would be where the 25-year-old striker spends his 2022 season.

Here are the most likely options.

SIGN UP EARLY

Smith has almost confirmed he will join Roosters, but at the moment, that association could only begin at the end of next year. NRL clubs often sign players months in advance of actually joining the team, allowing them that buffer time to get their pay ceiling in order.

Clubs do not publish player salaries, so it’s hard to know how much extra cash the Chooks have under the ceiling for season 2022. If they can find enough space to accommodate Smith, there’s a good chance he will move to Bondi sooner rather than later. .

People like James Tedesco, Luke Keary, Angus Crichton and Joey Manu all make significant money on Tricolours. Breakout stars Sam Walker and Sitili Tupouniua have no doubt had their salaries upgraded for 2022.

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Storm star meets dolphins

But this year, Roosters lost Boyd Cordner, Jake Friend, Brett Morris and Josh Morris to retirement. They have not added any major recruits and they still have vacancies on their 30-man list.

Melbourne may be prepared to pay some of Smith’s salary next season to get him out of the books.

ACCEPT A CHANGED ROLE IN MELBOURNE

The most likely possibility is that Smith will actually stay in Melbourne and fulfill his contract.

But Storm coach Craig Bellamy will not do the Kiwi international any favors, and it is more likely that he will snatch Smith to the starting-whore position in favor of Harry Grant.

Smith got Grant for the role this year – after the legendary rake Cameron Smith’s retirement – and he was named whore of the year in the NRL. Grant, however, is considered the best young No. 9 in the rugby league and will definitely be promoted to the job next season.

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Smith’s greatest asset, however, is his versatility. Although he is dumped from whores, he can easily play a role as midfielder for Melbourne. It could become even more important with Nelson Asofa-Solomona, who is tooting at getting a COVID-19 plug, and the great comrade Tui Kamikamica, who is accused of assault.

The most drastic scenario Smith faces is to be completely ostracized by the Storm and spend the season playing in the Queensland Cup for an NRL feeder club.

FIND A ONE YEAR OFFER ELSEWHERE

If the Roosters sign Smith for 2023, but they can not afford to bring him to Bondi early, another NRL club could throw themselves over and convince him to spend a year in their colors in the meantime.

He met with the Titans and Dolphins while vacationing in southern Queensland before being courted by the Chooks in Sydney.

Smith makes something out of nothing

The Dolphins will first enter the competition in 2023, but the Titans would no doubt enjoy the opportunity to add Smith to the team, even if it was only for one season. They let Mitch Rein go at the end of this year and have yet to sign a first-class whore.

Smith, on the podcast that has found him in so many trouble, also revealed that the eels, tigers and panthers approached him after he hit the market on November 1st.

Interestingly, Eels looks set to lose the classic whore Reed Mahoney to the Bulldogs in 2023, while the Panthers look set to lose Api Koroisau. If Smith were to join one of these teams for the 2022 campaign, the established rake would no doubt look to leave as soon as possible.

The Tigers had former Smith’s Storm teammate Grant on their books for a year when the two clubs agreed a swap deal in 2020. They would jump at the chance to have any of Smith’s quality on the team for a few months.

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