Kevin Proctor's exit from The Gold Coast Titans has been one of the more bizarre ones we have seen in recent times.

The Titans' former captain was let go by the club after Proctor released an Instagram video of himself vaping in the bathroom of the dressing sheds at half-time during their Round 19 loss to the Bulldogs.

While the vaping was a bad look, Proctor is also believed to have had his phone in an area where no members of staff or the playing group are allowed to under NRL rules.

The sheer childish nature of the act on the part of the 33-year-old back-rower was strange enough. It seems more akin to something you would expect to see a kid send to his mates from the school toilets during class than what you would expect from a former representative player.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 17: Kevin Proctor of the Titans looks on during the round three NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Parramatta Eels at Cbus Super Stadium on March 17, 2017 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

But the decision of the club to stand him down and release him from further obligations for such a petty crime seemed a little comical to me.

I think it's clear that the Titans were searching for any reason they could find to offload him and this was just the perfect chance to do so.

His career with the Titans since joining in 2017 makes for a pretty poor read, with 104 appearances, only one of which was in a finals series and a pretty lacklustre win percentage at the struggling club.

The question now is, what is next for Proctor? And the answer is probably the simplest one.

After rumours of securing a spot in the Super League have seemingly died, Proctor looks almost certain to exit the game.

However, let's undertake a thought experiment, what if there were a club in the competition that was not only losing 673 games worth of experience in its forward pack at season's end but also has a history with Proctor and a reputation for bringing players back from the rugby league scrap heap.

Craig Bellamy's Melbourne Storm have a history of this sort of thing. Reviving the careers of journeymen and retirees for one last crack in the NRL. And perhaps they could use Proctor going into 2023 without Felise Kaufusi, Jesse Bromwich and Kenny Bromwich.

If you want examples look no further than Proctor's teammates when the Storm won the 2012 premiership.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 02: Kevin Proctor of the Storm sings the national anthem before the 2016 NRL Grand Final match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Players like Bryan Norrie, who was in a similar situation to Proctor, having departed Crounulla in 2009 and failing to land a spot in the Super League, Norrie found himself in bush league footy before Bellamy called him back to top grade.

Amongst that 2012 squad also were the likes of Richie Fa'aoso who was let go by Wayne Bennett's Newcastle Knights mid-way through the season.

And, Jamian Lowe the former North Queensland Cowboy and South Sydney Rabbitoh whose career had been savaged by injury before his signing with Melbourne.

Even this season we have witnessed the return of winger and centre Young Tonumaipea to first grade for the Storm following a poor stint on the Gold Coast.

My point is, there is a precedent for this at the Melbourne Storm and who is to say Bellamy's standards can't get some of the form that saw Proctor represent New Zealand on 22 occasions back out of him?

The big roadblock in this thought experiment is the fact that Melbourne has already signed 22-year-old New Zealand Warrior Eliesa Katoa and 20-year-old Catalans Dragon Joe Chan to cover the back row next season.

With the addition of an experienced former NSW origin player, Tariq Sims.

But rugby league can be a cruel mistress as the Storm has found out the hard way this year with so many players out through injury.

Having an extra man with the experience and connection to the club handy on a cheap one-year deal might be a good thing for both parties, especially if the Storm can get Proctor back into fighting shape.

It is very much a pie-in-the-sky idea I know, but it might be the only option for Proctor before he becomes just another name in the big book of rugby league.


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