NRL Trial Match - Sharks v Bulldogs
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27: Nick Cotric of the Bulldogs is tackled during the NRL Trial Match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on February 27, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)

Nick Cotric could become the first victim of the Bulldogs' salary cap squeeze following reports that the former Raider had recently met with Wests Tigers officials.

With Canterbury's cap situation sure to capture a big-name victim ahead of the 2023 season, the contracted centre could well ease the club's financial situation following their off-season spending spree.

As first reported by James Hooper of Fox Sportsthe 23-year-old has met with both Michael Maguire and Wests' director of football Tim Sheens about the prospects of a shift up Burwood Road.

Should the Tigers prove able to coax the ex-Origin back to Concord, it would be done this off-season with Wests reportedly pushing the Bulldogs for an immediate release.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 09: Nick Cotric of the Bulldogs and his team mates looks dejected after a try during the round nine NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, on May 09, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

While the merged club will now be seen as the frontrunner for the ACT native's services given their $1 million repository, the Tigers aren't the only team in the market, with previous reports suggesting that Cotric could well return to Canberra on a similar deal.

However, when speaking with Hooper, Sheens remained quietly confident that his club's claws could snare them the centre.

“It’s certainly nowhere near being done but we’ve met with the lad and Madge likes what he could add to the roster,” Sheens explained.

“We’re not the only club at the table so we’ll just have to let it take its course and see how it plays out."

Having served the first of his three-year deal with the Dogs in 2021, Cotric is still owed in the vicinity of $1.2 million by the Belmore based side.

Still, with Canterbury having purchased a fleet of new names that are set to call the club home either this pre-season or next, the blue and white brigade are said to be left with just $500,000 to fill the final seven slots on their roster for 2023.

RELATED: Bulldogs facing salary bind ahead of 2023 season 

While Maguire already has the ability to call on names such as Daine Laurie, David Nofoaluma, Ken Maumalo, Tommy Talau and James Roberts next season, Sheens suggested it was still an area the Tigers were looking to strengthen.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 16: Tigers coach Tim Sheens watches on from the bench during the round three NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Wests Tigers at WIN Jubilee Stadium on March 16, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

“We’ve obviously got Daine Laurie coming back from injury and the good thing with Nick is he grew up playing fullback, has also played on the wing and can play in the centres,” the premiership coach stated.

“So from that point of view he could provide us with depth in a number of positions.”

Should the Wests win out in their chase for two-time Kangaroo's signature, Cotric will call his third club home in as many seasons next year.


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