Josh Dugan’s manager, Paul Sutton, says the potential superstar will wait until it becomes clear what effect the next TV rights deal will have on the salary cap before he begins negotiations on his future.
The current free-to-air and pay television rights arrangements don’t expire until the end of next season, which is also when Dugan’s contract with the Canberra Raiders runs out, but negotiations on the next TV deal will become serious as soon as the game’s independent commission is in place and are likely to be completed by early next season at the latest.
The NRL wants its current deal, worth $500 million over six years, increased to $1 billion over five years. If successful, the NRL salary cap is expected to rise from $4.3m to at least $7m.
Dugan told the Herald while he was in camp with the NSW team for State of Origin I that he was in no rush to decide his future. Sutton agreed that the fact Dugan’s contract ran out at the same time as the TV deal was great timing for the fullback, and said that while he did not wish to speculate how much money Dugan could earn under a dramatically increased cap, he was likely to benefit hugely.
Sutton said that early this year he engaged in preliminary discussions with the Raiders’ management on a possible extension of Dugan’s current deal at the club, but that the two parties eventually agreed to put the talks on hold.
Sutton said Dugan was happy at Canberra and believed the club had the potential for success over the next few years but that the 21-year-old was entitled to at least consider other options if he found them attractive.