Brooks, 27, has played every one of his 185 NRL games in the orange and black jersey, and has been their halfback since debuting in 2013.
But he has never played a finals game. The club hasn’t finished inside the competition’s top eight in 11 years.
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Brooks lost his No.7 jumper earlier this season under now-sacked coach Michael Maguire, and reports claim he is set to be dropped altogether for the club’s next game.
Johns is a fan of Brooks, and hopes the Tigers don’t dump the playmaker from the side.
“I’d be moving Brooks to halfback… (Adam) Doueihi five-eighth and (Jackson) Hastings at lock, playing like Victor Radley, Isaah Yeo, which (Hastings) does anyway,” Johns told Wide World of Sports’ Immortal Behaviour.
“But Brooks is out of form. On the weekend he was poor, like a lot of the Wests Tigers.
“Whether there’s stuff going on off the field, whether he wants out, I don’t know.”
Brooks is reportedly earning $950,000 a season on his current Tigers deal, and that could leap to more than $1 million after this year.
But despite his huge salary, the halfback requested a release at least once in the off-season so he could join Newcastle.
Brooks denied that when speaking to 9News last month, but it was widely reported at the time.
Brooks denies asking for Tigers release
Now, Johns believes it’s in the best interests of the player and the club for the Tigers to cut Brooks loose.
Johns, who is on the coaching staff at Newcastle, has no idea whether the Knights are still interested in signing the playmaker or not.
“It’s a hard one for me, because Newcastle wanted him at the start of the year. I don’t now how the salary cap is, if they’ve got money there (anymore),” he said.
“Everyone can see both parties need to break. Whether Brooks goes away, whether it’s better for Brooks or better for the Tigers… it’s not working.
“I feel for both parties. I think there’s still a great player in there. He won Dally M Halfback of the Year (in 2018), in a side which hasn’t made the eight for 10 years.
“I think he needs a change.”
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