Australian test captain Cameron Smith has signed a 4 year contract extension with the Melbourne Storm, ensuring he remains a one club player.
The deal which is set to be one of the richest in the games history will be the final one of Smiths playing career. Smith had been at the center of a tug of war between the Storm and the Brisbane Broncos, but at the end of the day it was Smith’s desire to be a one club player that helped get the Storm over the line.
That and a few million dollars of course!
Cameron Smith is already one of the most decorated in the games history having won a Grand Finals, multiple State Of Origin series, a World Cup and a Dally M medal…all as captains of his club, state or country.
At 30 years of age the Storm are taking a bit of a risk signing Smith to such a long term deal though. Very few hookers in the game manage to play at a high level past the age of about 32. Smith is still the best hooker in the game by some margin right now though. His work ethic will no doubt help add to his career longevity and should see him pass Darren Lockyer’s record of 355 first grade appearances.
I think it is fantastic for the game of Rugby League that Cameron Smith will be a one club player. He is an icon at the Melbourne Storm and I have no doubt that when he retires he will almost immediately step into a coaching role with the club, if not taking over as the clubs first grade coach when Craig Bellamy chooses to move on.
I think there should be heavy salary cap discounts for a player like Smith who has played 262 games for the one club. The Storm shouldn’t need to be concerned about fitting him under the salary cap in re-signing him. If they can come up with the money they should be able to pay him what ever they want, with only a small portion of that counting towards the cap.
I would even go further and say that any player that plays 300 first grade games for the one club should not count towards that clubs salary cap figure at all.
Congratulations to the Melbourne Storm for securing Smith. This feels like a right move for the club, for Smith himself, and the game in general.
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