Fresh blow after NRL wedding cancelled
The hits keep coming for Newcastle star Mitchell Pearce with reports the former NSW State of Origin star will swallow a $250,000 pay cut to stay with the Knights.
The halfback's wedding with fiance Kristin Scott was called off just days out from the event on December 29 after alleged flirty text messages from Pearce to a young female club employee emerged.
The relationship has been further strained with Pearce not seen on his partner's Instagram account since November 6.
However, the fractured relationship has reportedly taken a positive step forward with Scott attending a social meeting of the women behind the Knights players at the home of coach Adam O'Brien last week.
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The club had reportedly been impressed with Pearce's behaviour on and off the field since the scandal broke and are deep in negotiations surrounding a contract extension.
It was revealed on Friday Pearce is set to accept the $250,000 pay cut as part of a one-year extension through to the end of the 2022 NRL season.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Pearce will sign a new $650,000 deal. He is currently completing the $900,000 per-season deal (which includes bonuses for the team qualifying for the NRL finals series).
Pearce stepped down as captain of the club last month - reportedly making the decision himself.
His troubled relationship with Scott has played out in the public eye with reports Pearce's intimate texts to a Knights employee were discovered by the woman's long-term boyfriend.
The Daily Telegraph reported in December the boyfriend is a close friend of some Knights players, including forward Lachlan Fitzgibbon.
Fitzgibbon was reportedly furious at Pearce's actions, but has since buried the hatchet with his teammate.
Newcastle in January announced a five-man leadership group to replace Pearce as captain.
Mitch Barnett, Kalyn Ponga, Daniel Saifiti, Blake Green and Jayden Brailey will form part of the senior leadership group.
The Australian first reported last week Pearce had already accepted that he would have to take a pay cut even before the club first made Pearce a formal offer.
Pearce is faced with the dilemma of taking the deal or delaying negotiations until he has had a chance to show his form on the field in the first rounds of the season - and potentially attract bigger-money offers from rival clubs.
The report also stated Pearce has reacted well to the turmoil in his private life and is in "an amazing head space" on the field.
Originally published as Fresh blow after NRL wedding cancelled