Broncos arrogance killed Bird’s move to Sydney rival
Brisbane star Jack Bird wanted to join St George Illawarra and the Dragons were very interested in signing the former NSW utility.
But just as a deal loomed, a perceived arrogance from Brisbane prompted a peeved Saints to abruptly walk away from negotiations.
That decision must have given new Dragons coach Anthony Griffin some small satisfaction given Brisbane sacked him in 2014.
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The Daily Telegraph has been told Bird is desperate to leave Brisbane despite having another season to run on his contract.
With Brisbane also trying to offload Bird, it seemed set up for the former Sharks premiership-winning player to return to St George Illawarra, where he played in the NYC during 2013 and 2014.
Griffin and Broncos CEO Paul White spoke to each other about Bird, who was telling friends he was joining the Dragons.
St George Illawarra contacted Brisbane and made an offer for Bird, which the Broncos rejected. The Dragons were still keen and waited for a revised figure from Brisbane but a phone call never came.
After waiting a week, Griffin abandoned any move to sign Bird. The Broncos still believe the Dragons will return to the negotiating table to discuss Bird - but they won't.
Bird might now have to play out the final year of his $975,000 deal with the Broncos, despite a reluctance to remain at the club.
One official from a rival club, who was across the drama, said: "The Dragons offered up a figure and Brisbane laughed at them.
"But the Broncos never went back to Saints with a revised offer.
"So the Dragons simply moved on. Jack is desperate to leave Brisbane but there may not be anywhere else for him to go, so he will have to stay at the Broncos. Brisbane is trying to push him out but he has a signed contract.
"There is a feeling among several clubs that Brisbane thinks 'we're the Broncos and if we want to move a player then we will'. It's bullish and even arrogant.
"Bird is on $975000 for next season so Brisbane shouldn't think other clubs will just walk in and pull them out of this shit. They think everyone else will solve their problems. Well, it isn't going to happen."
Canterbury has been linked to Bird but any possible deal may also be thwarted should the Bulldogs sign Kyle Flanagan from the Sydney Roosters.
The Bulldogs are also favourites to sign Melbourne grand final winger and NSW star Josh Addo-Carr.
Clubs have expressed doubts over Bird given his significant injuries in recent years.
He has scored just two tries in 17 games over three injury-disrupted seasons at Brisbane and didn't play a game this year.
New Zealand Warriors coach Nathan Brown is a Bird supporter, telling the media: "If his body holds up he can play anywhere. He is just a good player. He can play anywhere as long as he is fit."
Originally published as Broncos arrogance killed Bird's move to Sydney rival