The exit of injury-stricken forward Anthony Watmough could open the way for Parramatta to compete for NRL premiership points again in 2016.
The Eels were on Tuesday docked all 12 premiership points they have earned thus far this year as part of the NRL’s sanctions against the club’s salary cap indiscretions.
Parramatta will only be allowed to compete for premiership points again once they are salary cap compliant.
The NRL says Parramatta are $575,000 over the cap for 2016.
Watmough moved to the Eels last year on a four year deal said to be around $700,000 per season.
The former representative forward struggled through much of last season and hasn’t played this year due to a chronic knee problem.
That knee drama could spell the end of his career, which would take him off the Eels books for this season and allow the club to fall under the cap.
However, the head of the NRL integrity unit Nick Weeks said the league would have to sign off on such a move.
“Any player that suffers a career-ending injury, as long as the salary cap auditor is satisfied that it’s genuine with medical certificates – they can be removed from the cap,” Weeks said.
The NRL ruled out Eels players taking across the board pay cuts to allow the club to drop below the cap.
That would not fall under the players’ nominal fee requirements, their worth as players as determined by the game’s governing body.