Nick Cotric ready for shock return to Canberra as Bulldogs make cost-cutting decisionOnly 12 months into a rich 3 deal, Nick Cotric looks set to head back to where it all began in 2022 as the Bulldogs and Raiders get serious discussing a suitable financial settlement.
Former NSW centre Nick Cotric is on the verge of leaving Canterbury for a shock return to Canberra.
Cotric, 23, still has 2 years remaining on the 3 season $1.8 million deal at the Bulldogs, but could have played his last game for the club.
Sources say Cotric – who represented the NSW Blues and Australian Kangaroos in 2019 — has also been shopped to Parramatta and Wests Tigers, while the Dolphins and Warriors have also been mentioned as possible destinations.
Cotric is reluctant to join Wests, while Parramatta’s interest has waned.
Canberra is certainly keen on signing the star player, who would return home to play on the wing.
If a financial deal can be struck between Canberra and Canterbury, Cotric would be released immediately and join the Raiders’ off-season training program.
Neither club would talk publicly about the proposed deal on Wednesday but Cotric’s manager, Sam Ayoub, was spotted in Canberra on Tuesday.
Expecting his 3 year deal to be honoured, Cotric bought a home in the Sutherland.
Canberra offered Cotric a healthy contract to remain at the club after 2020 but he accepted a larger deal to join Canterbury.
The Bulldogs’ incredible recruitment drive has left the club struggling with its salary cap.
Offloading Cotric would considerably ease the Bulldogs’ tight cap before the start of next season.
Cotric played his best football under coach Ricky Stuart at Canberra between 2017 and 2020 and was part of the Raiders’ 2019 grand final loss.
The Tigers have shown an interest in Cotric but the player appears hesitant about remaining in Sydney.
He has told friends his priority – should he leave Canterbury — would be a return home to the ACT.
The Raiders and Bulldogs are continuing dialogue over a financial settlement.
Gould has let it be known his club must consider moving some players to remain salary cap compliant.
Canterbury’s English forward Luke Thompson had been shopped to rival clubs earlier this year.
The Bulldogs’ recruit drive for the next two years has netted Viliame Kikau, Matt Burton, Brent Naden, Josh Addo-Carr, Matt Dufty, Paul Vaughan, Tevita Pangai Jr, Josh Cook, Max King and Braidon Burns.
The Cotric development comes as talks over Josh Hodgson’s proposed and much-discussed move to Wests Tigers have formally ended – the English hooker to remain a Raider for 2022.
Wests had chased Hodgson but the club and Canberra couldn’t find a suitable financial agreement for the transfer to occur.
Of course this guy is superfluous to the needs of St George Illawarra but I think two points can be made from this story:
1. We need to keep an eye on Canterbury and other clubs who are importing a large number of players and paying overs for several. North Queensland are another given news about our old junior, Luciano Leilua being the latest to sigh a big contract with them.
2. Even though things didn't work out well last year, Griffin has the club moving in the right direction in terms of managing the salary cap.