Jason Taumalolo’s North Queensland Cowboys contract situation revealed, Todd Payten friction

URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL

Jason Taumalolo has been labelled “not for sale” after reports emerged that the Cowboys may “put pressure” on the star forward to explore his options.

Taumalolo started on the bench for the Cowboys’ game against the Roosters this weekend, despite the Townsville-based club missing six players for Origin duty, including star forwards Jeremiah Nanai and Reuben Cotter.

The only place you can watch every game of every round LIVE and without ad breaks is Fox League, available on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial today >

The 30-year-old is in the seventh year of a record ten-year contract with the Cowboys worth up to $1 million per season, but is averaging just 38 minutes per game.

Payten has said the club is limiting Taumalolo’s playing time due to “worn cartilage” in the striker’s knee, but Fox League’s James Hooper believes there is “friction” between player and coach.

“It baffles me. They’re missing six State of Origin players when they face the Roosters on Sunday and their highest paid player doesn’t even make the starting line-up,” Hooper told NRL360.

“I’ve been told there’s a lot of friction between Todd Payten and Jason Taumalolo, probably going back to 18 months ago, maybe even a couple of years ago when Todd got the job.”

For NRL legend Gorden Tallis, it’s simple. A club legend like Taumalolo has to start from the beginning and believes that “you can’t put your best player against you”.

Tallis subsequently criticised Payten’s decision to bench Taumalolo when he took over the club in 2021.

“It was poorly handled,” Tallis said.

“He said he would send a message, but that message has since faded away.

“If he’s your best player, if he’s your most damaging player, if he’s your leader, he leads.”

Hooper went on to say that the decision not to use Taumalolo this week was telling.

“From the outside, it looks like there’s going to be unrest here at some point, and I think the club may have already tried to put pressure on Jason,” Hooper said.

“Reading between the lines, it looks to me like they’re trying to put pressure on him by not putting him in their top-13 starting lineup this weekend.”

NRL360 presenter Braith Anasta said the decision not to start Taumalolo “devalues” the championship-winning forward’s value, which in turn has a negative impact on the Cowboys.

“If you don’t put him in the starting lineup, it devalues ​​his value, which means another club won’t pay anywhere near as much. That means it will cost the Cowboys even more to let him go somewhere else because I expect he still wants to play at the highest level.”

“The Northern Pride (Cowboys’ feeder club) will have a good front rower in the QLD Cup,” joked Tallis.

At this point, it seems unlikely that Taumalolo will stay with the Cowboys for the duration of his huge contract.

So which other clubs might be interested and what would they be willing to pay?

The Daily Telegraph Michael Carayannis considers Taumalolo to be “almost unsellable”.

“Nobody’s going to pay him $900,000 now, so we’ve reached the point where you can’t really sell him because the Cowboys aren’t going to pay $300,000 to get him to play somewhere else,” he said.

“What is another club willing to pay him? $500,000 to $600,000, maximum? So the Cowboys have to contribute $400,000 to $500,000?” Anasta asked.

“And you can’t do that,” Carayannis replied.

“That’s not a sell-off because you still have to replace him in your salary cap. Right now you’re spending $600,000 to $700,000 on a player who’s at the bottom of your 30 and Jason Taumalolo is playing somewhere else.

“That can’t happen.”

Originally published as Shock abstinence exposes big Cowboys problem as $3 million reality becomes clear

Leave a Comment