Sport Broncos' cap questioned after Lodge rejects huge Newcastle offer for peanuts

22:41  13 november  2017
22:41  13 november  2017 Source:   Sporting News

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Something smells fishy with the Broncos salary cap after controversial prop Matt Lodge rejected a monster deal with Newcastle to stay at Red Hill, according to journalist Phil Rothfield.

Lodge divided opinion last week when Brisbane handed him an NRL lifeline with a reported $85,000 one-year deal as Wayne Bennett plans to use him as his starting prop next season.

The former Tiger admitted he was close to calling it quits after accumulating a massive amount of debt from his lawsuit where he was forced to cough up $1.6 million in damages for assaulting a New York couple.

The hefty bill is the reason why Rothfield can't understand why Lodge wouldn't opt for a lucrative three-year $1.5 million contract with the cash-loaded Knights.

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Brown reportedly looked into the services of the out-of-favour front-rower after an impressive year with Brisbane's feeder in the Redcliffe Dolphins, but Lodge chose to repay the favour to the Broncos for giving him a second chance.

But, it's a huge sacrifice that has put question marks on the Queensland powerhouse's salary cap expenditure.

‘’Now I don’t know what’s happening with the Broncos salary cap and they go and sign him for $100,000,'' Rothfield told Fox Sports' NRL 360.

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‘’I’m told he knocked back $400, $500 and $500 (thousand over three years).

‘’You haven’t worked for two years, so he’s taken as you’ve said $85,000, and I’m telling you Newcastle offered him $1.5 (million).

‘’I’m not saying there’s a rort but there’s something sus about it, how a kid who hasn’t earned money for so long, has stayed at the Broncos so cheap.’’

Panellist Andrew Webster butted in with some reasoning for Lodge's lower-paying choice.

‘’Power of one – he wants to go and play for Wayne Bennett,’’ he said.

If Lodge was so troubled by his inability to pay off his debts, the idea of moving to Newcastle could have both solved his financial issues and satisfied his desire to play first-grade football.

‘’Theoretically, $1.5 (million) he nearly pays his debt in New York after three years. He at least gets half of it done if he’s sensible,’’ NRL 360 co-host Paul Kent said.

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