Why Coote turned down the Roosters
Cowboys star Lachlan Coote never wanted to leave North Queensland, but he was damn close.
Coote confirmed reports that the Roosters were the other team fighting for his signature, and that their rich four-year deal was very nearly enough to drag him away from the north.
It was a decision he never wished he'd have to make.
At no point did he want to leave the Cowboys, so turning down the dollar signs both says something about the Cowboys club and his own desire for success.
Speaking for the first time since he put pen to paper, Coote said the decision was about both the team and his family.
"I've started a young family up here, my partner and (son) Bailey, and they were very happy to stay up here and that's what we always wanted," he said on Thursday.
"Being a part of this team is a no-brainer, hopefully we can go on and play some good footy this year and hopefully we are around in October."
Coote admitted that the Cowboys had to adjust their offer, which helped retain the 26-year-old.
"They did [adjust their offer] a little bit, which I was grateful for. I'm glad they did and that's what helped me sign," he said.
"I was very close [to leaving]. That was, I think, more before the Cowboys came to the table. I think as soon as they came to the table then my head was always here.
"It was pretty tough [to reject the other offers], knowing that [the Roosters] were offering a four-year deal and there were only two years here. I would have regretted it way more, leaving here, than turning those offers away so I'm glad with my decision and I'm glad to be around these boys a lot more.
"I was thinking about it through the week nearly every day, and when I was here at training I was even thinking about it.
"At the start of the year I thought that I had to leave, so I was just enjoying being away with the boys. Every away trip I wasn't taking for granted, I was enjoying every moment and now I don't have to do that. I've got another two more years here and I'm stoked with it.
"I was pretty sick of [the media attention] and I'm sure the boys were as well. They were making a bit of fun about it but it's good that it's finally over."
Coote has been a key to the Cowboys' recent high-level success, and he hopes other off-contract teammates can join him in keeping the team together.
"There are a few more guys coming off [contract], but hopefully we can work away at it to try and sign them," he said.
"It would be a good team to keep together."