In a surprise decision, the Broncos have announced the immediate departure of centre, wing and fullback option Gehamat Shibasaki to the Newcastle Knights and the re-signing of fellow centre, wing and fullback option Kontoni Staggs.
At the conclusion of the 2019 season, Shibasaki was ranked as the 10th most productive fullback option, and 7th most productive centre or winger option at the club. In contrast, Staggs ranked as the 15th most productive fullback option, and 11th most productive centre or winger option at the club
2019 productivity data – fullbacks
2019 productivity data – centres and wingers
While the Broncos’ decision to cut ties with Shibasaki should have freed up salary cap space to help re-sign to a longer term deal, a more productive player such as Farnworth, Hopoate, Kennar, Perese, or Vudogo, the club’s decision to sacrifice Shibasaski, and seemingly use the cap savings to re-sign a substantially less productive and more defensively liable player in Staggs, is totally baffling.
It is another disappointing moment for the Broncos’ recruitment and retention team.
Obviously, salary cap restraints mean the Broncos can’t retain all players. That said, the consistently inferior on field performances in recent seasons from regular first graders Staggs, Alex Glenn, Jack Bird, Andrew McCullough, Darius Boyd, and Xavier Coates, means the Broncos should have first sought to move on a number of those players, before contemplating releasing the likes of Shibasaki.