RUGBY LEAGUE: Knights prop Korbin Sims is set to take a whopping $265,000 pay cut this season to join the Broncos immediately.
Sims has secured a release from the final year of his contract with Newcastle, taking a mammoth hit to the pocket to play under former mentor Wayne Bennett at Red Hill in 2017.
It is believed due to salary cap constraints the Broncos only have second-tier salary cap space available for 2017, which prevents them paying more than $85,0000 for Sims' services this year.
However, with James Roberts' future clouded, a spot in their top 25 squad could open up pending the NRL Integrity Unit's investigation into allegations Roberts assaulted a woman at a Gold Coast nightclub last Saturday.
Sims' salary at Newcastle has been reported as $400,000 for 2017, but foxsports.com.au understands the figure is in fact $350,000, with the Knights already having paid about $90,000 this year.
They won't contribute another cent towards a payout for him to leave the club, and this was a sticking point in negotiations between his management and the Knights until a deal was struck on Thursday night.
The Broncos are believed to be making up the discrepancy in a back-ended, long-term deal, the length of which is currently unknown.
It's understood Sims pushed for an extended deal with Newcastle last season.
But with the Knights unwilling to rush into talks with any of their current roster after two successive wooden spoons, Sims began to look elsewhere to shore up his future.
The chance to link again with Bennett, who handed Sims his NRL debut during his time at Newcastle, was a significant factor in his decision to leave after 76 games for the club.
"The club carefully considered the request and following further discussions with Korbin and his management have decided to grant his release," CEO Matt Gidley said.
"We thank Korbin for his contribution to the club and wish him and his family all the best for the future."
Sims' exit continues to free up serious funds for a recruitment spree for the cellar dwellers.
Newcastle is eyeing off Cowboys representative stalwart Matt Scott as a marquee buy for 2018, with preparations under way for a two-year deal worth as much as $1.5 million to be tabled to the 31-year-old veteran.
Scott, off-contract at the end of 2017, just this week confirmed to foxsports.com.au that providing for his family was his No.1 priority, and "if that's moving clubs or staying at the Cowboys I'm yet to see".
The Knights, as well as Brisbane, also recently made a play for Roosters enforcer Dylan Napa before the burly Queenslander re-signed with the Chooks until the end of 2019.
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