Assuming he can get his life and affairs in order, which we hope can be the outcome, where does Ben Barba go to resume his rugby career?
The blemish on his record is one that is not easy to erase. Two run-ins with illicit recreational drugs would seem to be the final nail in the coffin of the 2012 Dally M Medal winner, but if ever there was a realm offering redemption, sports would have to be that realm.
Yet, of the 16 teams in the NRL, few would be willing to risk their fortunes on a player who is seemingly caught in the grasp of a substance that seldom surrenders its victims easily.
On top of that, the laws of supply and demand represent an all too uncomfortable reality for rugby players. There are less than 300 jobs for NRL players, with thousands waiting in the wings at any given moment.
Potentially, Barba could wind up with Canterbury, where he played in 2012. Barba faces salary cap obstacles in regard to the Bulldogs.
The Melbourne Storm might be willing to take a flyer, if Barba were willing to accept a reduced role removed from the spotlight.
The Newcastle Knights could certainly use Barba’s skill-set and Barba has a relationship with Knights’ manager Darren Moody.
The other chance for Barba might be the St. George Illawarra Dragons.
Other than the Storm, any side represents a fall down the ladder for Barba.