Parramatta would have had to shed more players to lure Jarryd Hayne, according to club administrator Max Donnelly.
After a year of NRL salary cap drama, the Eels feared they could have lost the resilient club culture they’ve struggled to build had they trimmed their roster in order to up their offer to snare the 28-year-old.
It’s understood the Eels could only offer Hayne approximately $800,000-a-season, which they were told was well short of the $2.4million on offer over two years from the Titans.
“The only way we could have done that was to get rid of players,” Donnelly told News Corp Australia.
“And if we do any more, it could have an impact on the unity of the team.”
The Eels have already lost a number of players this season in the wake of the salary cap scandal.
Nathan Peats was the first to head to the Gold Coast, Junior Paulo to Canberra and Ryan Morgan to Melbourne.
Anthony Watmough was also forced to retire through injury, while Kieran Foran was formally released last week to deal with his highly publicised personal issues.
It’s also suggested the Eels only had room to move their offer to $1million but could not go above that,
“By paying over the odds for any player, you compromise the rest of the roster,” Donnelly said.
It is also believed they were unaware Hayne was going to sign as soon as Wednesday.
Donnelly also maintained the club’s stance that they did table an offer to Hayne, despite the code hopper’s insistence he had been left waiting on the Eels.