Jarryd Hayne's decision to sign with the Gold Coast Titans is the latest major blow to the Parramatta Eels this year.
Hayne grew up supporting Parramatta and played his entire NRL career with the Eels before pursuing an NFL dream in 2014. But he announced Wednesday he would return to rugby league with the Titans.
The season of 2016 promised so much for Parramatta Eels fans. The best halves pairing in Kieran Foran and Corey Norman since the premiership days in the 80s of Peter Sterling and Brett Kenny, a try-scoring beast on the wing in Semi Radradra, a couple of veteran signings in Beau Scott and Michael Gordon and the late pick-up of NSW and Australian centre Michael Jennings had fans salivating at the thought of the Eels express powering towards a first title since 1986.
But as the season has progressed the journey has became more like a runaway train hurtling towards oblivion.
The sorry tale of the Eels
• Representative forward Anthony Watmough is unable to begin the season after suffering ongoing knee issues
• Foran misses the opening game of the season with a hamstring strain - little did we know that he was also dealing with significant personal issues at the time
• The Eels are investigated for breaches of the salary cap with a loss of competition points likely
• Foran fails in an attempt at suicide after the break-up of his relationship and amidst significant personal issues
• Foran asks for and is granted time away to deal with his mental health issues
• The NRL hands down a punishment with the loss of 12 competition points and a $1 million fine for serious breaches of the salary cap
• Five members of the Eels senior management and board are slapped with bans
• The Eels release hooker Nathan Peats (Titans) and Ryan Morgan (Storm) so they can get under the 2016 salary cap
• Foran returns to playing but injures his shoulder and is ruled out for the rest of the season
• Semi Radradra is given leave to go to Fiji where he reportedly tried to sign a deal with French rugby
• Upon his return to Australia Radradra is charged by police for domestic violence
• Radradra is injured and will miss 6-8 weeks
• Junior Paulo and Corey Norman are warned by police for associating with known criminals
• Norman is charged with possession of recreational drugs
• Norman is reportedly pictured in a video on social media in a compromising position and a separate one with him present while illicit drugs are being used
• Norman is banned for the remainder of the season for his indiscretions
• Paulo requests and is given an immediate release to join the Canberra Raiders after signing with them for 2017
• Stories in Australian newspapers link the Eels to a game being investigated from 2015 with match fixing concerns
• The State of NSW sacked the board of Parramatta and put in place a temporary board
• Foran asks for and gets a release from his $5 million contract to concentrate on getting his mental health in order
• Former star Jarryd Hayne rejects the club's $800,000-plus per year offer to sign with the rival Gold Coast Titans