The Roosters have formally applied for salary cap dispensation as captain Boyd Cordner faces at least 12 games out to ease his recovery from a series of head knocks.
NRL.com understands the Roosters have submitted a written application for $350,000 in representative salary cap relief to the NRL as a result of Cordner's most recent concussion, suffered during Origin I last year.
The NSW and Australian Test skipper is on leave from Roosters training duty as part of his managed return to play program.
Under NRL rules regarding injuries in representative matches, a player must miss three months of the Telstra Premiership season for a $350,000 cap relief application.
The Tricolours are yet to confirm how long Cordner will be on the sidelines, but a 12-game lay-off is now the indication from the club's salary cap bid.
Tedesco ready to captain Roosters, if called upon
Cordner's ongoing recovery has been planned in consultation with NRL chief medical officer Paul Bloomfield, coach Trent Robinson and Roosters medical staff.
The concussion suffered in Origin I at the Adelaide Oval in November was Cordner's fourth in 2020, coming after he sat out six weeks of the Roosters' campaign from two earlier head knocks.
The 28-year-old forward returned to the field after passing the HIA protocols for what looked to be an innocuous collision with Maroons counterpart Felise Kaufusi, prompting an NRL warning to the NSWRL for "failing to follow the game’s policy for managing potential head injuries".
Cordner then stood himself down from Blues duty for the remainder of the series, describing the move as "more precautionary than anything".
The Roosters have a ready-made left-edge replacement for Cordner in fellow NSW Origin rep Angus Crichton, while Tongan powerhouse Sitili Tupouniua is set to slot into the right edge vacated by Mitch Aubusson's retirement.
Cordner is understood to earn more than $750,000 a season as one of the NRL's elite back-rowers.
If salary cap dispensation is granted to the Roosters, he must sit out a minimum of 12 matches and not return to play early, and must be replaced with a "like-for-like" player.
The representative salary cap rule was introduced before the 2018 State of Origin series and has been granted to Canberra (John Bateman) and Canterbury (Kieran Foran) in the time since.
Canberra's compensation for a long-term shoulder injury suffered by Bateman came in at less than $150,000 and the club used that money last season to contribute to the signing of Corey Harawira-Naera late in the season.
The Bulldogs raised concerns around their dispensation being capped at $350,000 after Foran's dislocated shoulder playing for New Zealand in 2019.
Then Canterbury-CEO Andrew Hill argued clubs should instead receive 80 per cent of an injured players match fee if their injury is suffered on rep duty.
Due to the COVID-19 lay-off last year Foran ended up returning from shoulder surgery for round four in June after a six-month recovery.