PARRAMATTA face the prospect of being caught in the crossfire of rival offers for superstar Jarryd Hayne if they don't re-sign him over the next few months.
Hayne's current $500,000-per-year deal with the Eels doesn't run out until the end of next season, but under league rules he is free to negotiate with other clubs for 2014 and beyond from November 1.
And it is set to prove a very expensive exercise either for a club to tempt Hayne away or for Parramatta to keep him. The Eels are understood to be paying halfback Chris Sandow $550,000 per season, and he is not even a State of Origin player. Hayne is the most experienced player in the current NSW side, with 15 Origin appearances.
Asked yesterday what he believed Hayne would be worth on the open market, the player's manager, Wayne Beavis, replied: ''A lot of money - and that's just a rough estimate.''
Whether Hayne makes it onto the open market is going to depend on how aggressive Parramatta are in trying to re-sign him before November. He re-signed for less money than he could have earned elsewhere last time, but it remains to be seen whether he is prepared to do that again.
''Who knows, Parra could come in with a huge offer tomorrow and he might not make it to the open market,'' Beavis said. ''But he is allowed to talk from November 1, if he isn't re-signed by then, and I'm sure there will be plenty of interest in him from other clubs if they are free to approach him. Jarryd's only 24, yet he's the most-capped player in the NSW side. And pretty soon he'll be entering what should be the best years of his football life.
''Jarryd's happy at Parra, but like any top player he wants to be competitive. The ideal thing for him would be for that to happen at Parra, because he'd love to be a part of them being successful. It's too early for him to be thinking about his future right now … we will be doing that around August.''
Eels chief executive Bob Bentley did not return the Herald's phone call yesterday.
Beavis also manages Manly forward Darcy Lussick, who this week announced he would be joining the Eels next season. Melbourne utility Ryan Hinchcliffe, who is expected to be the next signing the Eels announce, is another client. Asked when Hinchcliffe would decide, Beavis said: ''That's up to him. He's got plenty of time, so I'm not going to rush him.''
Meanwhile, Penrith yesterday announced they had signed North Queensland hooker James Segeyaro from next season, on a three-year deal. Segeyaro will join Lewis Brown (Warriors), Dean Whare (Manly) and Sika Manu (Melbourne) at the club.