Flanagan is actively seeking new recruits, but his hands are tied until 2025 for signing high profile players unless the club can let go of a number of current players in haste.
Max Feagai, has recently been given permission to exit the club even though he has a year remaining on his contract. This will result in a family divide for Feagai, as his brother Mat and partner Maddison Weatherall will remain involved with the club in the following year, in NRLW and wing roles respectively.
Joining Feagai in the potential free agents’ list are Jayden Sullivan, Zane Musgrove and Jaiyden Hunt – Flanagan is suggesting they should seek new clubs before their current contracts run out. Should these players be successfully removed from the club’s books, it will free up over $1 million in salary cap space, with Sullivan’s deal alone worth over half a million dollars, and Feagai and Musgrove collectively earning in excess of $700,000 next year. Hunt, in contrast, is on a minimal contract.
Next season, Sullivan is speculated to move to the Tigers, with negotiations being held for a four-year contract. Only nine games into his career since debuting in 2020, Feagai will also remain at St George Illawarra next year, securing his position on the wing.
Creating quite a déjà vu in the club’s history – similar to when the Morris brothers were divided in 2009, Josh joining Canterbury and Brett staying until 2014.
Busy meeting player agents, Flanagan has informed the players whose contract terminates next year about the delay in discussions regarding contract renewals. This may impact players such as Francis Molo, Jaydn Su’A, Jack De Belin, Moses Suli and Tyrell Sloan, possibly leaving them without renewed contracts until they can hold negotiations with rival teams post November 1.
Flanagan’s immediate priority is to secure a 2024 squad, only then can he turn his sights on 2025. Having signed Hame Sele for the next season, Flanagan is keen to bring in 2 to 3 more fresh players, including Luke Thompson, provided he is successful in freeing up the required cap space.