Tyrone Peachey has delivered a shocking (or not so shocking) announcement that he has instructed his agent to escape the deal he signed to play for the Titans for the next three years.
In essence, Peachey has made it very clear he has no intention of honouring the big-money and highly trumpeted deal he penned earlier this season and is instead looking to stay closer to his western Sydney home.
The Titans could be forgiven for being absolutely furious after the Panthers-turn-Origin utility made no secret of his desire.
Fans of the Gold Coast club will be having flash backs to Daly Cherry-Evans' even more public back-flip after he signed an earth shattering, multi-year deal with the club only to change his mind and re-sign with Manly.
Although this isn't in the same category, due to the club literally not having planned the next decade around his signing, this will still set the Titans back and have made a real mockery of the system.
The fact that Peachey thinks he can just walk away from a signed commitment is shocking. The Titans, having recruited based on Peachey's signing, may have missed out on suitable players.
They may have let players go due to salary-cap restraints put on them due to the Peachey deal.
Who knows? You'd have to think the Titans were planning to name a side for round one containing the name Tyrone Peachey.
The Titans should be well within their rights to insist Peachey suit up for the team's first pre-season training session in November/December. After all, he signed a contract, and a big-money one at that.
The club must now be feeling a little hard done by. Yes DCE back-flipped but he did so using a very public clause. Peachey has just decided he'd rather play elsewhere.
For the record I don't blame him. Circumstances change. If his best footy is going to be played, and his best life lived, close to his family, then he has every right to make the decision he has.
That said he probably should have made this decision a while ago, allowing the Titans to make recruitment decisions with their spare 5/600k.
It would a public relations nightmare if the Titans were to absolutely block off any chance of Peach moving on, but I'd 100% back them in standing their ground, at least early on.
If Peachey was to agree a deal with the Tigers, I as the Titans, would certainly be sticking my hand out for a player to replace. The Titans have to make decisions for their club and fans here and shouldn't be made to suffer as a result of Peachey's back-flip.
Again I want to ensure that no one thinks I'm placing blame here on the player.
I don't know his personal situation. I have no interest or reason to guess or infer beyond the suggestion that he does want to stay closer to family ... and who can blame him?
That said, he has signed a long-term, big money deal and has set the Titans back at least 12 months if he doesn't turn up to training. That may sound like an over exaggeration but this is an Origin representative player that would have been in the Titans run on 13 for round one.
He's a back-rower, half, centre or even fullback. That's a lot of potential positioning at Garth Brennan's disposal.
As I'm typing this, comments have hit social media suggesting that the Titans will insist that Peachey honour the signed deal.
I'm not unhappy to hear this, as in this modern day, contracts simply don't mean enough. For a player to sign a huge deal then to decide, very late on, that his interests lay elsewhere, it sets a bad precedent.
Clubs have just as much right as players to plan ahead and if Peachey does decide to walk away from this deal, it leaves the Titans in a lose/lose position.
Either they play hard ball and come across as too tough on a player, or they let him walk away and leave themselves open to be taken advantage of in the future.
No matter what the outcome, I certainly don't think players should be able to simply walk away from deals, just as I don't think clubs should be able to simply cut players on a whim either.
This may be a longer and drawn out process than I originally suspected.