Titans on hold as Hayne deadline looms
Jarryd Hayne has a reported 1.2 million reasons to pick up the phone from New South Wales Origin camp and inform the Titans he intends to stay on in 2018 but as of Tuesday afternoon it was a call Gold Coast officials were yet to receive.
Hayne has the opportunity to activate a clause in his contract to play on for a third season at the Titans but the deadline to make a decision ends after May 31, or two hours after he walks off the field at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.
While Titans officials have expressed their belief that Hayne will activate the clause and remain an integral part of their roster for a further 12 months, if he was to wait until Thursday the club would be within their rights to renegotiate the terms of his contract.
Titans coach Neil Henry is confident Hayne will stay and that he will back up after his commitments with NSW to face the Cowboys on Saturday night but said the wait hasn't caused he or the club any anxiousness.
"The countdown is on. I've got the clock ticking over in my office," Henry said.
"You can't do much about it, it's his decision.
"He'll make it up and we'll deal with it if he stays or goes.
"To us it's not a drama anyway. It will be done and dusted before we play.
"It doesn't have any bearing on what we're doing. The Origin in itself is the most important thing. He doesn't want to disrupt that.
"It's an option that's got to be taken up or refused until the 31st.
"He's got until that day."
While most clubs have been at pains to express the difficulty the delay in the confirmation of the salary cap for next year has had on their recruitment, Henry said the uncertainty had made the Hayne decision less time-dependent.
Chris McQueen and Leivaha Pulu have already announced they will be at other clubs from next season and negotiations to extend the stays of both Nathan Peats and Tyrone Roberts continue but Henry said Hayne waiting until the 11th hour had not held up other decisions regarding the roster for next year.
"It's no change to what we've already committed to. It's not like we've got to rejig things," said Henry, who for the first time in 2017 was able to name the same 17 for two straight games.
"It gives us some clarity moving forward which is great for the club. We can move on without any further recruitment.
"The makeup of [the salary cap] is still up in the air.
"We're still not firm on rookies and numbers anyway and the total value of the cap.
"We're all working on rough figures. Some clubs are working on a little bit more than other clubs. We're on the lean side anyway.
"We're hoping we get a pleasant surprise and have a few more dollars to spend.
"At the moment there's a lot of contracts on hold around the cap uncertainty.
"I know a few big contracts have been decided, but that might affect some clubs. At the moment we're OK."