Titans open to long-term Taylor deal
Titans officials have expressed their interest in signing prodigious talent Ashley Taylor to a long-term deal well beyond the 2018 season and the good news for Titans fans is that the 22-year-old is open to the idea.
As the game digests the extraordinary 10-year deal that Jason Taumalolo signed with the Cowboys on Wednesday attention turns to whether such contracts are soon to become more prevalent for the very elite.
Daly Cherry-Evans famously back-flipped on the Titans to sign a "lifetime" contract with the Sea Eagles while earlier this year Ben Hunt signed what could amount to a six-year deal with the Dragons, taking him through until he is 33 years of age.
At 22 and with just 25 first grade games to his name the reigning NRL Rookie of the Year would appear a prime candidate for a multi-year deal of his own and NRL.com can reveal that the Titans are hopeful of beginning discussions around a contract extension in the coming weeks.
Taylor signed an extension to remain at the Titans until the end of the 2018 season just last September but with the Broncos on the lookout for a replacement for Hunt and other clubs aggressive in the player market, the Titans are desperate to make sure he is locked away before other clubs can begin their approaches from November 1.
An absolute standout in the opening three weeks and showing no signs of suffering from the dreaded second-year syndrome, Taylor said it would be a dream for all players in the NRL to sign a contract of the length that Taumalolo penned on Wednesday.
"It's obviously great for him," Taylor said ahead of his showdown with Indigenous All Stars teammate Johnathan Thurston on Saturday night.
"He's a great player and is young and is going to be massive in the next few years.
"It's a massive deal that he can't knock back.
"That would be a dream, to lock yourself up at a club like that.
"The ultimate goal is to make sure you secure, not only yourself, but your family as well."
Signed to the Broncos on a scholarship at just 12 years of age, Taylor made his debut for Brisbane in Round 26, 2015 but was released early from his contract by coach Wayne Bennett so that he could pursue an NRL opportunity at another club.
Although he had a number of suitors eager to secure his services Taylor signed with the Titans and said that he is eager to spend plenty more years on the Gold Coast.
"I've extended last year and I'd like to extend again," Taylor said.
"Being here is close to home. It's just a matter of doing what's right for me and my family.
"There are some massive deals being thrown around; Ben Hunt, Taumalolo, Cherry-Evans got a massive deal.
"It's starting to become a common thing these days to lock yourself up for a long time. That's just the dream for any player.
"That's really out of my control. At the moment I'm just focussing on playing footy.
"If it comes around it will come around. Until then I've got to keep playing some good footy."
Taylor spent the week of the Indigenous All Stars game shadowing his halves partner Thurston but doesn't expect to be able to use too much of what he learned to keep the Cowboys skipper out of the action on Saturday night.
"It's tough, he's the best player in the world at the moment," said Taylor.
"There's not much you can do apart from defend what he throws at you and try throw some attack at him as well to make sure he does tire a little bit.
"We'll have to make sure we're on our game to make sure we don't let him be on his game."