Cronk's future uncertain after leaving Storm
Cooper Cronk admits he has no idea what the future holds for him after he announced his intention to leave the Melbourne Storm at the end of the year to move to Sydney.
Cronk's decision to turn down the second-year of his two-year contract with the Storm was based on his desire to be with fiancée and Fox Sports presenter Tara Rushton.
However, while he's uncertain about next season, Cronk didn't close off the impossible-to-imagine possibility of lining up against Melbourne in another team's colours.
"I haven’t even contemplated that thought," Cronk said. "The best I can answer that is I don’t know what's in store for me next year.
"There's a lot to weigh up. My attachment to this football club is one thing but the other is once you're retired, you're a long time retired.
"I feel physically and mentally capable to play for a couple of years.
"There'll be conversations around that but I don’t have a timeline on when I make that decision."
Cronk's decision ignites plenty of speculation about where the two-time Dally M medalist will land with several Sydney clubs in crucial need of a superstar halfback.
His signing will involve a big-money offer in the halfback market, particularly after Ben Hunt's multi-million-dollar deal with the St George-Illawarra Dragons next year.
"I'm completely comfortable with [speculation]," Cronk said. "That's the way of the world and there's a lot of money in rugby league through sponsorship and other things. There's also a lot of media exposure.
"It's a talking point and I'm being totally transparent when I say I don’t know what I'm going to do next year.
"I apologise to the club if that causes a bit of heat for them but I've been upfront and honest."
In 15 seasons with Melbourne, Cronk established himself as one of the greatest halfbacks in the modern era, steering the club to the 2012 premiership and six grand final appearances.
The 306-game veteran is determined to make the most of his final season in Melbourne and avenge last year's premiership loss with grand final glory this year.
"Today is not about what I'm going to do next year," Cronk said. "It's about celebrating what the Melbourne Storm have given me over a long period of time.
"Hopefully I can still, and hopefully I have [already], give back a little bit."