DISCARDED Newcastle Knights have provided great value over the years for their once-fierce rivals, Manly-Warringah.
Ben Kennedy proved Knights officials had misread his use-by date by skippering Manly to play-off series in 2005 and 2006, appearing in seven Tests and three Origins for good measure.
Josh Perry enjoyed the last laugh at then Newcastle coach Brian Smith's expense by winning the 2008 premiership in his first season with the Sea Eagles, then progressing to represent his country and state.
More recently, the Knights paid Akuila Uate an estimated $200,000 to go and play for Manly, and in the 2017-18 seasons he proceeded to score 19 tries in 39 games for the Sea Eagles - more than any Knights player during the corresponding period.
Other ex-Knights such as the late Adrian Shelford, Chris Bailey and Willie Mason continued their careers at Brookvale after parting company with Newcastle.
Now hooker Danny Levi appears set to become the next Novocastrian to latch onto a lifeline tossed his way by the Silvertails.
And the question is whether like Kennedy, Perry and to a lesser extent Uate, the Knights will be left regretting their decision to let him go.
At 24, Levi already has five seasons of NRL - 83 games - under his belt, and potentially many more to come.
He played four Tests for New Zealand at the 2017 World Cup and was a member of the Maori All Stars last year.
Yet at some point after signing a two-year contract extension early in 2017, it seems Levi fell out of favour with then Knights coach Nathan Brown.
Upon re-signing Levi, Brown said in a club statement: "Our strategy is to retain our best young talent and build a team around them."
But when the next season kicked off, Levi's Kiwi jerseys counted for nothing and he found himself primarily in reserve grade, at least until Slade Griffin suffered a career-ending knee injury.
Out of frustration, Levi asked Brown mid-season for a release, which was denied.
But before long it became evident that, if a rival club expressed interested in his services, the Knights were willing to help pack his bags.
By midway through last season, Brown's patience in Levi had clearly expired.
Not only was versatile Connor Watson making a successful transition into dummy-half, but the Knights signed Jayden Brailey from Cronulla to a three-year deal.
"It was pretty much a sign they were telling me without telling me," Levi told the Newcastle Herald last week.
Why Brown lost faith in Levi, only he would know. Was there a personality clash, or had the coach reached the conclusion that he had erred in signing the young rake to a long-term deal?
Whatever the reason, it left not only Levi, but Brown's replacement, Adam O'Brien, facing an awkward situation.
O'Brien arrived in Newcastle to find he had a surplus of hookers: Brailey, Watson, Levi and rookie Luke Huth.
Levi is entitled to honour the last year of his contract with Newcastle and compete for the No.9 jersey.
But the worry is he might spend a season in reserve grade, out of sight and out of mind.
What he really needs is a coach to show some belief in him.
After losing Api Koroisau to Penrith, and with a serious police charges clouding the future of Manase Fainu, Manly look like they need to bolster their dummy-half ranks.
Levi trained with the Knights on Monday but is apparently close to signing with Manly, who may well reap the benefits of all the years Newcastle have spent developing him.