Melbourne Storm's brutal move in 'disrespectful' Brandon Smith drama

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Brandon Smith, pictured here in action for the Melbourne Storm.
Melbourne are now attempting to move Brandon Smith for the 2022 season. Image: Getty

Brandon Smith appears to have burned all bridges at the Melbourne Storm, with the club now looking to move him on for the 2022 season.

The hooker's deal with the Sydney Roosters for 2023 is expected to be confirmed next week, after his public comments expressing admiration for the club caused outrage at the Storm.

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His now infamous podcast episode has left him completely offside in Melbourne, with the Storm now weighing up their options for next season.

As it currently stands the Storm will not release Smith unless they are able to arrange a player swap deal with a rival club.

It's understood Melbourne have contacted multiple Sydney teams offering such deals, which would allow Smith to exit his own deal early.

One of those included an offer to the Wests Tigers to sign Stefano Utoikimanu for next season, which was quickly rejected.

A key sticking point is clubs will have to release a player from the rest of their contract while only getting Smith for one year before he joins the Roosters.

The other challenge would be the number of clubs required to agree to swaps to make the move happen.

Roosters hooker Sam Verrills has already been linked to Parramatta ahead of Smith's arrival and Reed Mahoney's move to Canterbury in 2023.

Even if Verrills was to move west early to accommodate any early move for Smith, the Storm would still want someone in return.

It is also questionable if the Bulldogs would have room in their salary cap to welcome Mahoney into their pack next season.

Nick Cotric is one Bulldog being shopped around, but it remains far from certain if his early exit would clear up enough salary cap space.

Stefano Utoikamanu, pictured here in action for the Wests Tigers.
Stefano Utoikamanu in action for the Wests Tigers. (Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Melbourne Storm left seething over Brandon Smith comments

The Storm were left filthy with Smith's expletive-laden YKTR podcast last week, where he confirmed his desire to win a premiership for the Roosters.

It also came after he and Cameron Munster were banned for a match and fined over a video of a post-season party that brought the game into disrepute.

"Recent comments made by Brandon in a podcast, and the way he expressed them, do not align with Storm's values and the way we operate as a club," CEO Justin Rodski said this week.

"The statements have deeply offended current and former players, coaches, staff and board members and the club strongly rejects the comments made about the Storm culture.

"We acknowledge Brandon's apology made on social media today and his willingness now to prepare for the 2022 season with Storm."

Smith also apologised on social media, but insisted he had not intended to disrespect his current club.

"It was never my intent to disrespect or come across as ungrateful to the club that has done so much for me and my family," Smith wrote.

"And that goes for my coaches, members, staff and most of all my teammates."

with AAP

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