A report claims Melbourne has a lot more on the line than the future of big-bopper Sam Kasiano on the line in its salary cap crunch for round one.
The Daily Telegraph revealed recently the Storm have been shopping the prop around to rival clubs in a bid to squeeze under the 2019 salary cap.
The Storm's full cap crisis was laid bare on Tuesday morning by Triple M NRL commentator Ben Dobbin, who told Triple M's Big Breakfast that the club is $600,000 over the 2019 cap.
He reported the club is desperate to find a new home for Kasiano because the NRL recently threatened the club with being excluded from the opening round of the season on March 14 if they are still not salary cap compliant.
The NRL's other tool for dealing with clubs who are over the cap heading into the start of a season would see the Storm lose captain Cameron Smith, who was the last player to sign on with the Storm for the 2019 season.
Melbourne's salary cap crunch comes with the Sharks reportedly set to face a salary cap reduction of up to $500,000 for their salary cap scandal which reportedly dates back to cap breaches in 2015.
The Wests Tigers are also reportedly set to learn their fate surrounding a preliminary salary cap reduction of $640,000 surrounding an ambassadorial deal with club great Robbie Farah.
The clubs will learn their fate following Thursday's Australian Rugby League commission meeting.
The news is concerning for the Storm, according to Dobbin.
"My mail is the Melbourne Storm are at least $600,000 over the salary cap right now,' he said.
"He (Kasiano) has been shopped around to other clubs for some time. The NRL have said to the Melbourne Storm, 'It's like this. You can get under the salary cap within 16 days or you won't be taking the field in round one'.
"Somebody has to go for the Melbourne Storm. If they can't get rid of Sam Kasiano, there was a bit of talk if the findings come down with the NRL and St George put Jack de Belin to the sideline, St George would be able to pick up Kasiano. Kasiano is no Jack de Belin, nowhere near it.
He said the NRL's "last man" in policy would cost the Storm Smith if the NRL is forced to take action to get the Storm compliant for 2019.
"The rule around the salary cap is if you can't get under your salary cap, the last player signed is the one who has to go," he said.
"So for example at the Cronulla Sharks, Shaun Johnson, star halfback, would be the one who has to go. Cronulla are going to be handed down fines on Friday for salary cap breaches. They need to shed a lot of people — like second stringers — and if they can't, guess what, Shaun Johnson is gone."
HAYNE BRUSHED BY CLUB RUGBY
Jarryd Hayne's uncertain future remains in limbo after the Australian Rugby Union on Monday shot down the possibility of the former NFL star joining the 15-man code this season.
Hayne attended one of Eastwood Rugby Club's training sessions in Sydney recently.
Currently without an NRL contract and fighting sexual assault charges both in Australia and the US, Hayne set tongues wagging when he was seen running around with the 'Woodies'.
The Daily Telegraph spoke with the club's head coach Ben Batger, who denied the six-time Shute Shield premiers were looking at signing the 30-year-old.
"Jarryd's mates with one of the boys, he just came and did some training with us," Batger said.
"There's nothing there. He did a bit of fitness with us and had a run around. Look, we've got a settled squad and there's no thoughts of him playing.
"He's got plenty on his plate anyway. It would be very, very unlikely that he lines up for Eastwood this year."
The ARU closed the door on Hayne on Monday night with the Telegraph reporting Hayne would not be registered under the game's strict code of conduct.