No rush on Coote decision: Green
Cowboys coach Paul Green says there is no great urgency in getting an answer on the future of Lachlan Coote, after the star fullback was reported to have only two sides left at the negotiation table.
Coote has become the NRL's most popular man in recent weeks, with the free agent's skyrocketing market value sending both the media and opposition teams in a spin.
Recent reports had suggested that Coote's decision was down to two teams and was likely to be made in the coming days, but Green said on Friday that there was little pressure on his No. 1 for a quick decision.
"Not [a pressing issue] at this stage. We want to get Saturday's game out of the way, that's the most important thing for us at the moment," he said.
"Recruitment is an ongoing thing; it's not just 'Cootey' that's coming off contract, it's a process that we've got to work through and in amongst all that we've got games to prepare for, so it's important that we don't let any of that stuff distract us.
"He has handled himself really well throughout this whole process, 'Cootey', and his form has been good so far this year as well.
"He's conscious of what we've got to do [against the Eels] on Saturday night, so I think it is in everyone's best interests to park it now and we will revisit it. It will get sorted when it gets sorted."
There has been genuine talk of a dynasty in North Queensland, and there is no denying Coote has a large part to play in the club's future success.
Early indications are that 18-year-old superstar-in-waiting Kalyn Ponga – who could possibly see NRL action sometime next year – will fit best at fullback, meaning that if Coote does re-sign, then Green has the ultimate decision on his hands.
Shifting representative-calibre players to different positons may be inevitable, with five-eighth Michael Morgan currently presenting the best utility value.
When asked what role he has in 'selling' his free agents to stay at the Cowboys, Green rejected the notion that he is heavily involved in the negotiation process.
"I think sell is the wrong word. It's just about, from my point of view, where I see this team going in the future and what part those guys play in that," he said.
"[They are] the most important things that I need to get across to them – where they fit in the big picture."