Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Newcastle Knights halfback Mitchell Pearce is in the twilight years of his career and has proven quite injury prone since moving to the Hunter in 2018.
However, the 32-year-old could be set for one last big move in his storied career.
The Daily Telegraph is reporting that the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs are considering making a move for Pearce to partner with incoming five-eighth Matt Burton.
It is believed that the power brokers at Belmore have not yet decided whether or not to go in for the former New South Wales State of Origin representative, with a decision set to be made at some point within the next fortnight.
A report emerged in late July from Fox Sports that the Knights had tipped the Bulldogs off on the fact that their halfback would be available to negotiate with rival clubs from November 1st for 2023.
— Dean Ritchie (@BulldogRitchie) August 19, 2021
Pearce is currently in the final season of his reported $900,000 per year deal but has extended with the Knights until the end of 2022 on what is believed to be a reduced deal, which means that if the Bulldogs want to secure his services for next season, they will have to put forth an offer to the veteran that is convincing enough to make him work towards getting a release from Newcastle, or wait until he is going on 34-years-old in 2023 and sign him to partner Burton then.
We have only seen Pearce take the field on eight occasions in 2021, with the former Rooster scoring two tries, getting seven assists, seven line-break assists, averaging 75 running metres per game and making 149 tackles for an efficiency rate of 93.1%.
Pearce was of course involved in an off-field incident late last year that saw many of his teammates sour on him and resulted in the 305 game veteran being stripped of the captaincy at Newcastle.
This incident may also be a contributing factor as to why the Knights are seemingly okay with letting Pearce walk.
If Mitchell Pearce is released to join the Bulldogs in 2022, he will be the club’s sixth signing for the season and join Matt Burton, Josh Addo-Carr, Brent Naden, Matt Dufty and Paul Vaughn as a newcomer at Belmore.