Cooper Cronk's impending retirement leaves the Roosters cashed up and well-placed to retain superstar centre Latrell Mitchell.
But with a lack of first-rate playmakers on the market over the next two seasons, it's likely the Tricolours' war chest will be spent elsewhere across their 17 with Luke Keary becoming their chief playmaker.
Cronk's retirement has been anticipated for some time, and now with the best part of $1 million in their 2020 salary cap, the Roosters' priority is upgrading Mitchell's current deal before he can field rival offers in November.
With South Sydney linked to Mitchell and having up to $900,000 of their own to spend following Greg Inglis's own retirement, the Tricolours will ramp up retention talks with Mitchell once his management dispute is resolved.
While open to shifting the NSW Origin superstar to five-eighth, Trent Robinson still sees Mitchell's best role as a strike centre, but is prepared to pay marquee money for the 21-year-old regardless of where he lines up.
Meanwhile Keary will take charge once Cronk wraps up, whether he is wearing six or seven.
Of the external options to partner the Clive Churchill Medallist, Mitchell Moses is the most accomplished still on the market, but expected to sign off on an Eels extension in coming weeks.
Off-contract halves at the end of 2020 include Parramatta's Dylan Brown and Warriors rookie Chanel Harris-Tevita, if the Roosters are hunting for long-term options.
The Roosters have their own rising star of a similar calibre in Lachlan Lam, who is out for the next 4-6 weeks with a broken wrist suffered in Canterbury Cup on the weekend.
And beyond in-form Rabbitohs playmaker Cody Walker, who in turn is a priority re-signing at Redfern, veterans Kieran Foran, Blake Green and Chad Townsend are the next cabs off the rank after 2020.
Having steered the Roosters to last year's grand final win and become a Test player in the process, Keary enjoys strong support among his teammates.
"I think we have played games without Cooper [in which] Keary has grown so much as a player," co-captain Jake Friend said.
"I would be more than happy for Keary to steer us around. I believe in him and I have seen him do it.
"It is a void – it is Cooper Cronk. But he has done as much as he could to get players around him to be ready for that. I think [Keary] will be ready for it."
Cronk ruled out any move into full-time coaching once he hangs up the boots, but has found mentoring young halves and teammates a particular strength of his at the back end of his career.
Keary's development as one of the game's best playmakers since Cronk joined the Roosters has been stark.
With a crack at one final title to come and a coaching role of some description expected to follow, Cronk spoke of leaving the premiers in even more formidable shape when he retires.
"Part of my job description here is to make sure that this football club is in a better position to win the next title than [with] me being around," Cronk said on Monday.
"You can easily come here and take everything you want and then ride off into the sunset. But I think my personality is to make sure that I give as much as I possibly can."