Corey Norman is set to finally sign for St George Illawarra after a protracted move from Parramatta was finally resolved, opening the door for the five-eighth to leave the club after four years. Norman’s departure from Parramatta was a complicated one due to his lucrative salary, one which was set to pay him $940,000 next season.
With the Dragons’ salary cap for 2019 extremely tight, some movement was required from all parties for the deal to be resolved. Now the i’s are all dotted and the t’s all crossed, the 27-year old is now able to finalise his switch to his new club.
Despite recently releasing Kurt Mann to Newcastle, the Dragons are only able to pay $510,000 next season – a figure which will increase to $800,000 in 2020. With such a sizeable gap in his projected earnings next season, Norman was looking for the Eels to pay him $300,000 to leave the club, which is believed to have now been negotiated down to $270,000. The move should now, however, does mean the Eels have achieved their target of offloading Norman, opening up space for Mitchell Moses to step up as the club’s main half.
Norman and Moses failed to gel at all last season despite many Parramatta fans holding out real hope of the duo delivering success to the club, with the Eels ending a difficult season bottom of the table. The departure of Norman also frees up significant funds for the club to strengthen in other areas. Although, with odds of around 34/1 according to the bookmakers over at Oddschecker, it’s clear not many feel the Eels are going to be contenders next season. The Dragons, however, have a much better chance of reaching the Grand Final according to the bookies, and Norman’s arrival certainly boosts their hopes in 2019.
The addition of Norman is also likely to increase the chance of an early release for Gareth Widdop. The Dragons skipper has a contract with St George Illawarra for another three seasons, but has made it clear he wants to finish his career in the Super League. Coach Paul McGregor now has the option of playing Norman alongside Ben Hunt in the halves, allowing Widdop to fill the No.1 jersey. McGregor may also see fit for Norman to drop back to fullback, having spent time there during his stints with the Eels and Broncos, to cater to all his playmakers.