Penrith have signed utility playmaker Jaeman Salmon on a one-year deal after he left western Sydney rival Parramatta.
Salmon, 21, is a lively ball-player who will add depth in Penrith’s halves and centres. Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai are the club’s first-choice playmakers, while young star Matt Burton has been signed by the Bulldogs from 2022 onwards but is so far remaining put for 2021.
While Salmon is a well-regarded talent, he didn’t play for the Eels last season even when halfback Mitchell Moses was injured, with Jai Field instead getting the nod. Another Eels utility back, Will Smith, also got game time in 2020 while Salmon was inactive.
Salmon made his NRL debut in 2018 and played just 17 games for Parramatta, where his three-year contract recently expired.
“Jaeman is a young and talented footballer whose career was effectively put on hold last season,” Panthers general manager of rugby league Matt Cameron said in a statement.
“He comes to our club seeking a fresh start and the opportunity to work towards realising his full potential.
“Jaeman’s ability to play a number of positions provides our squad with valuable depth heading into 2021.”
Salmon said: “I’m excited to be part of such a strong squad and can’t wait to rip in.
“From Ivan (Cleary) to the players, there are a lot of people here I can learn from and continue to develop my game.
“I’m focused on training as hard as I can so I’ll be ready to go in whatever role they need me to play.”