Former Knights forward Marc Glanville said Newcastle's decision to suspend mid-season contract negotiations because of the team's poor form had backfired, with the Canberra Raiders sneaking under the guard of the Knights to snare forward Joel Edwards on a three-year deal.
But Glanville also questioned whether Edwards' manager Daryl Mather had acted in the Cessnock junior's best interests by rejecting a similar three-year offer from the Knights earlier in the season.
Mather said Edwards was happy about the decision to join Canberra next year, but both he and Edwards are refusing to comment further on the move until the end of this season.
It is understood the Knights had offered Edwards a lucrative three-year deal worth about $600,000 earlier this season, which was initially rejected by Edwards' management. Knights coach Wayne Bennett then suspended all contract negotiations because of team form, Edwards later offered a downgraded two-year deal worth about $300,000.
Glanville said it was disappointing that the wrangling and stalling from both parties had forced a Newcastle junior out of the club.
''I think his manager wanted to shop around and see what else he could get, baulk and try to ask for more,'' Glanville said.
''Instead of maybe Joel saying 'listen mate I think it's good, I'm keen to stay, let's sign it and get it done with', he sort of held them off … if I was Joel I'd be questioning my manger.
''In saying that it's probably disappointing again for the area to lose a junior given that he's come up through the system.''
Raiders coach David Furner declared Edwards would complement his squad and denied Canberra would have to squeeze other forwards out of the club to acquire him.
There has been ongoing speculation this year over the futures of Raiders forwards Bronson Harrison and Trevor Thurling.
''I think it's going to be a good buy, it's about building a squad that's super competitive,'' Furner said.
''[Edwards'] defence is exceptional, he's nice and aggressive and I like that about him … he's a style of player who will suit our forwards and style of play.''