Why Bulldogs giant Sam Kasiano took pay cut to join Melbourne Storm next season
June 28, 2017 11:44am
Source: FOX SPORTS
IT’S not every day you hear of a Test star taking a pay cut while still under contract but that’s exactly what Sam Kasiano has done.
The Canterbury giant’s manager, Mario Tartak, confirmed to the Fox Sports Market Watch podcast that the 26-year-old will leave the kennel at season’s end for a fresh start in Melbourne.
He also revealed that the man affectionately known as ‘Dogzilla’ has taken a hit to the back pocket to do so and he wasn’t short of suitors.
With the Dogs under financial pressure following the pricey signings of Aaron Woods and Kieran Foran for next season, Kasiano was one of the players to receive a tap on the shoulder.
It was an opportunity he embraced with the chance to start in the front row the driving force behind his decision to leave Belmore.
While the 196 centimetre big man attracted interest from the Dragons, Eels and Warriors, it was over a coffee with Storm coach Craig Bellamy that Kasiano decided to take a pay cut and make the move to the Storm next season on a three-year-deal.
“I can announce that Sam Kasiano has definitely signed with the Melbourne Storm for a three year deal,” Tartak told the Market Watch podcast.
“That’s going to start from next year — 18, 19 and 20. Craig Bellamy flew us down. (Sam) and his wife and they were ecstatic with how the club was run and Melbourne itself. Sam’s looking forward to making the switch.
“We had offers from, I’ll give you an idea, the Dragons, Parra and the Warriors.
“Sam actually took a pay cut to be at the Melbourne Storm. That’s how much he actually liked it.”
Kasiano is the latest Bulldog to head for the exit as part of the club’s signing spree which also saw Josh Reynolds take up an offer with the Wests Tigers from next season.
It’s likely at least one more player will be forced out of the Dogs who have recently re-signed fullback Will Hopoate, winger Marcelo Montoya and backrower Adam Elliott all until the end of 2020.
Speculation continues to run rife around the future of James Graham despite multiple denials that the skipper will leave at the end of the season.
But it’s certain Kasiano will.
Market Watch first broke the news of the Storm’s interest in Kasiano in May, earmarking the big bopper as the ideal candidate to replace North Queensland bound prop Jordan McLean.
With his Bulldogs deal worth $700,000 next season, the Dogs are expected to contribute to his pay packet in 2018.
So why the pay cut? And how did Craig Bellamy beat the other clubs to his signature?
Tartak said the pitch was simple.
“When we had a coffee at Bellamy’s favourite cafe, Bellamy’s pitch was that he knew what Sam was capable of,” Tartak said.
“He wants to take it back to when he became (Dally M) Prop of the Year (in 2012), when he was a starting prop and he was terrorising teams.
“With the Dogs, being used off the bench. I think Sam’s always wanted to start. It’s horses for courses. Every coach has their own game plan but Sam is looking forward to this opportunity.”