When it was initially revealed last year that the Brisbane Broncos would be paying approximately $1 million to put controversial prop Matt Lodge in the rear view mirror, there were a few dropped jaws around the rugby league community.
Why would you fork out seven figures for someone to not wear your jersey?
Now, 12 months after his release, the reasoning is slowly leaking out of Red Hill.
At his third club in a year, Lodge will run out in the Roosters' starting side as he takes on the side that punted him to the curb.
Despite playing well initially, the Broncos believed Lodge was on the up, risking their reputation to sign the front-rower following the New York debacle, even handing the prop a five-year, $4 million deal.
However, the more Kevin Walters attempted to unite the side during their two-year fall from finals footy, the more Lodge would drift away. Always the lone wolf of the pack, a spray from a trainer after the former Warrior was cutting corners on fitness drills proved the final straw.
Despite being in stellar form at club level, the Broncos agreed with Walters and cut Lodge loose, a move that is paying dividends for Brisbane today. Even though he was a strong performer on field, he didn't fit the culture the club was trying to usher in.
The Warriors also paid an astronomical figure to release Lodge, handing the firebrand $700,000 to not play for them anymore.
While admitting he was in awe of his attitude to get back on the field initially, Broncos chairman Karl Morris believes he had to back Walters.
“Matt Lodge was a redemption story and it was great to have him back,” Morris told The Daily Telegraph.
“He did all the tough work he had to do while playing for Redcliffe to get back into the NRL. He completely gave up the drink and was a model citizen while he was with us.
“For whatever reason, culturally, it didn’t work with him and the new coaching staff and we decided to part ways.
“Kevvie wants a certain type of player and person at the Broncos and he just didn’t suit the type of team Kevvie was trying to build.”
Suspended forward Pat Carrigan knows first-hand how skilful and clever Lodge is on the football field, and is certain he'll come out swinging on Thursday.
“Lodgey always plays well and I’m sure he will step up against us, I’m excited for him.
“He’s a halfback in a front-rower’s body, he’s actually a very smart footballer and he taught me a lot about the game.
“I am grateful for a lot of the stuff Lodgey did for us younger blokes here. He gave us that introduction to first grade."