When David Fifita elected to sign with the Sydney Roosters, those in the Gold Coast Titans' recruitment team should have been doing cartwheels.

By the same token, when he had a change of heart and decided he instead wanted to remain on the glitter strip, they should have told him thanks, but no thanks.

Now, some of you will already be up in arms. I can already read your comments. "But David Fifita is the best second-rower in the game."

And there is little doubt that when he is on, he is just about unstoppable. There is no one in the NRL who would readily volunteer to tackle David Fifita bursting into the line on a sharp angle.

But that Fifita isn't consistent, and once you mix on-field struggles to find that consistency with a continuing off-field circus, as well as the fact the Titans may have the most unabalanced salary cap in the competition, this decision should have been a no-brainer.

Instead, Fifita changed his mind and within 12 hours, the backflip had been concerned, with the Gold Coast apparently happy to continue spending a million dollars per season on their rampaging edge forward.

It's the salary cap which is the biggest issue for the Titans though. Not having an - at his best - State of Origin level forward on the books.

Once Fifita's million-dollar salary is put on the salary cap next to the more than a million dollar salary of currently injured captain and Queensland State of Origin forward Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, the issues are obvious.

TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 23: Tino Fa'asuamaleaui of the Titans runs the ball during the round seven NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Gold Coast Titans at Qld Country Bank Stadium, on April 23, 2022, in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

It's not to say either player isn't worth a million dollars on their own, or don't provide plenty on the park - but next to each other, in the same team, it simply doesn't work.

The Titans have had very little in the way of success in recent times, and while the battling club are starting to turn things around in recent weeks under new coach Des Hasler, the first portion of the 2024 campaign was an absolute disaster for the Robina-based side, losing all their first six games of the year.

While you can't pin it all on Fifita, the issue is they simply haven't been able to build enough of a side around the two established forwards given the salary cap balance.

In the modern game, where attack happens from all over the park and the spine are without doubt the most important players on the park, you simple can not afford to be spending 20 per cent of your cap on two forwards, no matter how good they are.

It creates headaches all over the park.

Salary cap balance is one thing - and it's clear that the top sides in the competition have it right - but there is also the small matter of Fifita being something of a walking headline. Sometimes, that is more of a distraction than it is anything else.

We aren't in the Titans' camp, and you can't pretend to know what is happening behind closed doors, but the fact Fifita has had questions over his immediate future due to clauses in his contract throughout much of each of the last three years can't be a positive for him, his form, or his teammates.

It's not a positive for the club on a whole either given it makes it very difficult to balance the books and forward plan the roster and salary cap.

That's not to say having clauses in his contract is the Titans' fault, and you would have thought the club would have learnt from the fallout of Justin Holbrook's sacking last year, yet, Fifita would have asked for a clause around Des Hasler and how he was enjoying life at the club to be included in 2024.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 23: Coach Justin Holbrook of the Titans looks dejected at a post match press conference after the round eight NRL match between the Dolphins and Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on April 23, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Rugby league is a business, granted, but how Fifita can sign a new deal and then want to have it reviewed less than ten weeks into his first campaign under Hasler is beyond belief.

That's not a clause that has been inserted for anyone else, and shouldn't have been there for Fifita.

It, in effect, puts one player as bigger than the club. No NRL player can be successful with that as the motto in a competition that is as cut-throat and ruthless as it has ever been.

For so many reasons, the Titans should have been doing cartwheels around the office when Fifita elected to head to the Roosters.

They should never have given him a chance to backflip.

In doing so, they have confirmed two more years of exactly the same, and will be left sweating on the likes of Thomas Weaver and AJ Brimson to lead the club into the future with a wildly unbalanced salary cap.