by MATT LOGUE
MANLY's $10 million man Daly Cherry-Evans isn't caught up in the club's third-party salary cap drama, according to
sources close to the star halfback.
The Sea Eagles' preparations for the 2018 season copped a hit on Monday afternoon when the NRL issued the club a breach notice after concluding its investigation into cap issues at the Northern Beaches franchise.
The notice concerns preliminary findings of potential breaches of the salary cap over the past five years.
It's believed the Sea Eagles are in breach by up to $400,000, which, as part of its punishment, the NRL will put on to next year's salary cap.
That means the Sea Eagles, who released halfback Blake Green to the New Zealand Warriors and missed out on signing Mitchell Pearce, will not have enough money in their salary cap to chase a replacement half.
The Sea Eagles face a hefty fine, although it's believed they may be spared a points deduction.
The ball is now in Manly's court to respond to the breach notice as the witch-hunt commences into the players involved in the dodgy third-party dealings.
The Daily Telegraph has been told Cherry-Evans, who signed an eight-year deal with the Sea Eagles in 2015, is not part of any wrongdoing.
It's understood the NRL has repeatedly checked and cleared the halfback's contract.
It comes as Manly have signed approximately 40 players over the past five seasons, opening the door for multiple third-party offenders.
In addition, show cause notices have also been issued to two current Sea Eagles officials which require them to demonstrate why their registrations should not be cancelled.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said the Manly club and both officials have already been provided with opportunities to assist the NRL during the investigation.
They will be given a chance to respond formally to the preliminary findings before final determinations are made.
Greenberg said that, in accordance with the NRL rules, the parties have been given five days to respond to the breach notices.
However, given the seriousness of the allegations, the NRL would consider a request for an extension of time.