I think it's understandable that these players would prefer Origin because, as you say, the follow up from the World Cup has been disappointing.
More meaningful internationals are needed, especially around State of Origin time.
Protecting Les Catalans from the drop creates the danger that if they do not stop the rot they may end up going through seasons with Nil Points or just the odd win. The crowds WILL (we can safely say) then peel away, the spiral of decline continues and fixtures against the club could be embarrassing and economically losers for the other 11 clubs.
I won't pretend that having a club exempt from the drop is ideal, because I know it's not. I just think that losing Catalans would be a disaster for European Super League.
Catalans have finished at the bottom a few times and bounced back up the table. I doubt a club with good finances and a steady flow of talent would continually finish at the bottom of the league.
Great news for all concerned IMO. The number of clubs with wealthy owners is increasing(assuming the deal goes through). When we have enough teams comfortably spending up to the salary cap, then we can realistically talk about raising the cap.