— Parramatta Eels (@TheParraEels) December 18, 2022
Dylan Brown is an Eel for life. Well, sort of. Parramatta’s star five-eighth has just inked a spectacular new deal that will see him potentially at the club until the end of 2031. The contract is the first of its kind for the Blue & Gold and massively eclipes the 3 and 4 year extensions given out to other core players in recent times. That obviously speaks to the importance of Dylan to the club and the almost exotic value that comes with a 22-year old playmaker that is a genuine build around piece.
As you might expect, Dylan’s new deal isn’t a simple 8-year extension. It is structured in a fashion that gives both the player and possibly the club outs at certain junctures over the next 9 years. Indeed, this style of contract is more akin to American sports where core stars are given long deals with clauses and outs built into them.
So let’s see what we can find out about this historic signing for the Eels.
For starters, Brown is unequivocally an Eel until the end of 2025. He will continue to helm Parramatta’s charge for a breakthrough premiership over the next 3 years at the very least. While the official NRL.com signing portal doesn’t actually have the range to fully encapsulate Brown’s new deal club CEO Jim Sarantinos revealed that Brown has a player option in 2026 to extend the deal until the end of 2028. From there a second, potentially mutual, option can be activated to lock Dylan in for the final 3 years.
The key date looks to be the potential activation the 2026 player option. It gives Dylan the ability to test the market should he want. That will be a legitimate possibility but it is also worth considering that he has already activated a player option in his time at the club.
I know everyone will be jockeying to see the dollar value of his deal but there is absolutely nothing out there right now. The Eels have been judicious in their evaulation of recruitment and retention under Mark O’Neill and Brad Arthur but players like Dyl and Mitchell Moses almost certainly command a premium from the market.
Speaking of Moses, all eyes now turn to him as Parramatta look to secure their other playmaker to a long term deal. While some may construe Dylan’s re-signing as a blow to the Eels’ chances of keeping Mitch on the monetary front I think it is the complete opposite. Now that Brown is here for the forseeable future, Moses has his running mate locked in for his final major NRL deal.
Brown’s retention is a brilliant Christmas present for the Parra faithful. His buy-in in the face of extremely tempting offers from rival clubs speaks volumes to team comraderie and club culture.(See Sixties Bumpers Up for an earlier example of Dylan’s attitude and loyalty). He now becomes one of the legitimate faces of the franchise and one of the critical pieces in Parramatta’s pursuit of a 5th premiership.