Red Bulls rookie Eric Brunner has turned down the developmental contract the Red Bulls offered him after the team dropped him from the senior roster last week, meaning the second-round pick could be gone from the Red Bulls for good.
The Red Bulls dropped Brunner from its senior roster, and voided his contract, in order to make room for newly-acquired defender Andrew Boyens. Rather than accept the new developmental contract offered by the Red Bulls, Brunner has turned it down and is now weighing possibilities outside of MLS.
"Eric has decided to pass on the developmental offer, and we’re currently exploring both USL and European options," said Leo Cullen, Brunner’s agent. "He wished something could have worked out with NY, and is hopeful that there will be an opportunity there down the road, but is now exploring alternatives."
The No. 16 overall pick in January’s draft, Brunner was signed to a contract worth a base salary of $36,000 and guaranteed compensation worth $44,750, but the Red Bulls essentially ripped up his contract (which wasn’t guaranteed) and offered him a senior developmental salary valued at $17,700 a year.
What next. Brunner is leaving open the possibility of returning to the Red Bulls, but the fact that the Red Bulls terminated his original contract means Brunner is free to play anywhere he wants outside of MLS (the Red Bulls still hold his rights because it did offer him a developmental contract). A USL deal is possible but with the USL season under way, most teams have already committed most of their resources to their current roster. Brunner could also head to Europe this summer and search for a contract there.
Will the Red Bulls offer him his old contract? They would have to make room on their senior roster to do so and right now it doesn’t appear that there is a player on the 18-man senior roster the club wants to unload in favor of Brunner.
Brunner has shown some flashes during the pre-season but has also shown his inexperience, which has kept him low on the pecking order of Red Bulls defenders, which is likely why the club decided it was worth the risk to drop him from a senior roster spot to developmental slot.
What do you think of this news? Share your thoughts below.