NRL club said its hands were tied after several off-field incidents by their former player.
The Canberra Raiders have sacked their third big name player in recent seasons after the club said they would not need Blake Ferguson’s services for 2014.
Ferguson joins the list populated by Todd Carney and Josh Dugan that were left go by the club to their destructive off-field behaviour.
Canberra threw Ferguson a lifeline earlier this year after reinstating him to the starting side after a brief ban for drinking while injured and missing a training session.
After rising to the top of the sport and being picked in the New South Wales State of Origin side, Ferguson’s world came crashing back down when he was accused of assaulting a woman in a nightclub.
Since then Ferguson’s erratic behavior has seen him go AWOL in the closing stages of the regular season as the Raiders’ finals hopes hung by a thread.
When asked to front the Canberra board to explain his actions the outside back did not show up, forcing the club to sack him.
“I hope that he gets his life back in order and gets back playing footy,” Canberra CEO Don Furner said.
“No-one gets any pleasure out of this.
“He’s an outstanding talent, he was great to watch.
“I would have loved to see him finish his career here.”
Furner said the Raiders would not stand in he way of any other NRL club signing Ferguson if they wished.
However, NRL CEO Jim Doyle said the competition would undertake a full investigation into any new deal offered by another club, as to whether it’s in the best interest for the player and the code.
“We were left with very little option,” Furner said.
“We worked tirelessly with Blake, knew he had some off-field issues.
“We had a plan in place towards the end of last year.”
Ferguson’s former teammates did not shed any tears over the announcement, with Shaun Berrigan just looking to move forward after what was a disappointing way for the Raiders’ season to end.
“To be honest, it’s probably the best thing for the club,” Berrigan said.
“Blake’s been nothing but dramas this year for the club.
“I’m sure the club will move on.
“No player is bigger than the team. The team is the most important thing.”