In a week where the Wests Tigers ramped upped their pursuit of Mitchell Moses, forcing the Eels to take a stand against any suggestion of an early release, Wayne Bennett's Dolphins have also been busy with their approach for the Eels' other half, Dylan Brown.
With both halves off-contract and the odds of Parramatta retaining both of them looking increasingly less likely, there are grave concerns that the departure of the duo could have a long-lasting impact on the Eels.
The Daily Telegraph reports that The Dolphins have grown increasingly confident that their million-dollar quest to secure the Parramatta five-eighth, knowing that the Eels' precarious salary cap position means they won't be able to compete financially.
The recent focus on Moses has also reemphasised the uncertainty that lingers over the contract situation at the club. With both halves off-contract at the same time, it's believed that a decision by one of them to depart could lead the other to do the same.
That result could be hugely detrimental to the grand finalists hopes of maintaining their place at the top, and not just in the immediate future.
“There's an increasing confidence from the Dolphins that they might be able to pry Dylan Brown out of Parramatta,” Telegraph chief sports writer David Riccio told SEN 1170 Breakfast.
“That may have major ramifications for the Eels as I've got increasing concerns that Mitch Moses won't be at Parramatta.
“To consider that the Eels' two starting halves may not be there in 2024 is just extraordinary.
“As far as stability, prospects and competitiveness (go), it's huge. It's 10-year defining.
“It will take them 10 years to bounce back if they were to lose both.”
It seems hard to believe that the Eels could arrange an outcome that would enable them to retain both halves, despite clearing some cap room from their roster in the off-season – and if one goes, it's likely the other won't stick around, according to Riccio.
“My concern is which half makes the first move and what impact that has,” he said.
“Do I want to stick around if I've lost my partner in crime?
“If Dylan Brown makes his call to go to the Dolphins, then Mitch will have to start with a rookie half, and vice-versa.”
Despite the problematic situation, the Eels have already confirmed they won't be granting the sought-after prospects an early release. Provided they can afford to maintain that stance, there's still every hope that they can recover from any challenging outcome to the situation.