When the Herald's David Skipwith broke the news that the Warriors had told Shaun Johnson to test his value on the open market last month, it set off a chain of events culminating in the star halfback's release from the club with a year left on his contract. At the time veteran columnist Chris Rattue predicted a couple of possible outcomes for the Warriors - none of them particularly positive.
The Warriors and Shaun Johnson need to get their skates on, but I fear it is too late.
The club basically declared over the weekend that it is time for Johnson to move on, one of the bravest decisions in the history of New Zealand sport.
But instead of waiting another year, they need to move now. It's in Johnson's best interests as well.
Chief executive Cameron George and the club deserve an A-plus rating for deciding that Johnson's time with the Warriors is at an end.
He's the club's biggest PR winner, there's an army of devoted Johnson fans who won't be happy, and on his day he is a brilliant footballer almost beyond compare who he can tear opponents apart.
But he is also shockingly erratic and Johnson has basically been told to find another club, when his contract ends after the 2019 season. At $1m a year, he's turned into a dud investment.
But while encouraging the mercurial Johnson to test the market is sound, the timing appears terrible.
The Warriors may end up with a highly-paid, disaffected star in their midst next year, and last year's World Cup indicated that Johnson can struggle with his reactions in adversity.
The problem is finding a new playmaker, particularly as Mason Lino has been let go. It looks like Johnson will stay with the Warriors in 2019, which is one heck of a risky situation.
It's hard to know how a flaky footballer who has gone from being feted to bladed will react to this public humiliation.
The Warriors are on a hiding to nothing, because Johnson will do one or some of the following.-
1) Continue to flatter to deceive;
2) Fall apart and send the Warriors plummeting;
3) Play brilliantly for a while leading to an avalanche of intolerable public pressure, while flattering to deceive yet again;
4) Play brilliantly leading to the Warriors getting slammed;
5) Be a constant distraction.
Johnson's demise signals the Warriors, under coach Steve "Mooks" Kearney, are hell-bent on ending their history of being crowd-pleasing failures.
It's easy for those of us who operate from the sidelines to bang on about how the most brilliant footballer this city has produced for many years turned into a club killer.
But it's much harder making the decision, knowing that you are sending a prized asset still adored by many to another club where Johnson may end up embarrassing the Warriors.
George deserves some plaudits but I've got no doubt that the coach is really swinging the axe. Johnson must see it that way, which is a problem in itself.
The final straw for Kearney was probably Johnson's dud performance in the playoff loss to the Penrith Panthers. It was Johnson's big career moment, after a six-year finals absence.
Now Johnson will be playing for a club and coach who have, very publicly, appeared to lose faith in him.
The maddening thing about Johnson is that he is worth every cent of his $1m-a-year contract and then some at times. On other days, he's a two dollar shop trinket.
No club with title-winning aspirations can tolerate a playmaker like that and commentators saw a similarly confusing Johnson performance in the Kiwis' latest loss to England in Hull.
Johnson — who has just turned 28 — would be best served finding a new club straight away, to have maximum time for a career re-launch.
His re-boot will be fascinating to watch. So will his final season at the Warriors, but not in a good way.