NRL Rd 18 - Bulldogs v Sea Eagles
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 11: Raymond Faitala-Mariner of the Bulldogs and his team mates look dejected after a Sea Eagles try during the round 18 NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Manly Sea Eagles at ANZ Stadium on September 11, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

After another poor and inconsistent season that has seen the Bulldogs end up in the bottom half of the NRL ladder, the club has granted duo Raymond Faitala-Mariner and Ryan Sutton permission to leave the club.

The news reported by The Sydney Morning Herald is somewhat of a surprise as both players are signed with the club for a further two seasons, and Raymond Faitala-Mariner is currently the captain of the club.

TheĀ Herald revealed that sources close to the club confirmed that they have been granted permission to leave and to explore options elsewhere in the NRL or overseas. The decision comes as they look to free up more space in the salary cap to recruit new players to improve their squad.

Awarded the captaincy by Cameron Ciraldo less than six months ago and less than 12 months since he signed a contract extension until the end of the 2025 season, the second rower has been given the blessing to leave by the club if he can't find a new contract

A New Zealand Warriors junior, the Kiwi international spent two seasons across the ditch before signing with the Bulldogs in 2016, cementing 101 NRL games and 44 points to his name since then.

Joining him on the outs of the club is Ryan Sutton. Sutton only joined the club this season from the Canberra Raiders but is on a hefty price tag of $500,000 per season. Failing to live up to expectations, he was unceremoniously dropped back to reserve grade for over a month before returning to the NRL due to the club sustaining multiple injuries.

The England 9s international has reportedly held a meeting with club officials to discuss his future which may see him return back home to the Super League in England. The main reason for his departure is struggling to adjust to the team's defensive style, something the forward isn't used to. He, too has been given permission by the club to explore other opportunities.

Having signed Stephen Crichton and Bronson Xerri already for next season, Kyle Flanagan and Luke Thompson are set to follow the forward duo out of the club as they are unlikely to secure new extensions with the Bulldogs as their contracts expire at the end of the season.

The club also has Braidon Burns, Declan Casey, Corey Waddell, Fa'amanu Brown, Jayden Okunbor and young promising centre Paul Alamoti off-contract at the end of the season.

While there have been reports linking some of these players to rival clubs, there has been no confirmation on the future of any of these players.