Eight weeks after he was unceremoniously dumped following just 17 games for Newcastle, it has emerged the Knights reportedly attempted to lure Jesse Ramien back to club.
The highly-rated centre joined the Knights from Cronulla on a lucrative two-year deal this season and was widely tipped to be one of the signings of the 2019 NRL campaign.
Ramien has been linked with multiple NRL clubs including the Sydney Roosters, Canterbury Bulldogs, North Queensland Cowboys, Melbourne Storm and the Sharks in recent weeks.
But in a stunning development first reported by News Limited journalist James Hooper, it has emerged the Knights also entered the race for Ramien’s signature after Brown on Tuesday announced he will leave the club at season’s end.
“The Knights had a change of heart when they decided that they were going to part company with Nathan Brown,” News Limited journalist James Hooper told Fox Sports.
“So they reached back out to Jesse and basically did a backflip and said look we’d like to try to get you back to the Knihgts, we’re going to have a new coaching structure and we’ve got room in the salary cap.
“… But that ship’s sailed, that won’t be happening, I don’t think Jesse was overly elated about the way that he left the club and some of the things that were said as he departed.
“And so as a result I think he’s going to end up (back at Cronulla) … the Sharks have been manouevring very strongly behind the scenes to try and get this deal done.”
The decision to punt their prize recruit raised eyebrows – but reports Newcastle attempted backflip raises wider questions about the overall state of the Knights.
Newcastle’s season was all-but ended with a crushing 46-4 loss to Wests Tigers on Saturday night, with Brown conceding the miserable performance confirmed his decision to jump before he was pushed was the right call.