Craig Bellamy and James Tedesco are adamant Cameron Smith has another season in him but the Storm coach hinted his star hooker could retire earlier than planned.
Smith, 36, has a contract option in his favour to remain with Melbourne until the end of 2020 and had previously indicated he would consider playing in 2021.
However, the Immortal-in-waiting said he would "weigh up what's happening next year" after the Storm's preliminary final loss to the Roosters last week.
"I suppose two or three weeks ago I was pretty confident he would play again next year," Bellamy said on Wednesday night after accepting the Dally M Captain of The Year award on behalf of Smith.
"But on Mad Monday ... and sometimes you are affected by a couple of drinks ... perhaps he might not have been thinking that way.
"I think it is still up in the air to be quite honest which is a little bit disappointing. I think he can certainly go on for another 12 months and he is certainly playing well enough."
Bellamy accepts captain of the year award for Smith, gives update on his future
While he wants the 400-game record-breaker to stick around, Bellamy said the Storm won't pressure Smith.
Roosters fullback Tedesco, who shaded Smith by three votes to earn his maiden Dally M Medal, marvelled at the ex-Australian and Queensland skipper's feats.
"He's still at the top of his game - nearly the best player in the competition at his age," Tedesco said.
"He's been doing it for so long so there's no doubt he can go for a number of years. I think he played nearly every game [this year]; that's unheard of at his age. His body seems to be in good shape."
While Bellamy would prefer to be finalising another grand final gameplan he still considers 2019 a success.
After leading Melbourne to their third minor premiership in four seasons this year, Bellamy was named the Dally M Coach of the Year for the fifth time at the Horden Pavilion.
The mentor believes the Storm have planted the seeds for prosperity having developed talent like Ryan Papenhuyzen, Jahrome Hughes, Brandon Smith and Justin Olam in 2019.
"I think we've learned some lessons from our semi-finals series this year," Bellamy told reporters backstage.
"Especially for the younger guys, just how big making the right decision at the right time is. As long as we're wiser for the event, I think we can be really satisfied with our season."
Considering many had tipped the Storm to finally slide down the ladder following the retirement of Billy Slater, it was a remarkable achievement to finish six points clear at the top after 25 rounds.
Bellamy awarded Dally M coach of the year
"I think if I had sat down and thought about it [I might have been surprised by our dominance] but I think you're sort of wasting energy if you've got expectations," Bellamy said.
"The only expectations we've got are on ourselves and the players to do their best at training each and every day and each and every week.
"At the start of the year everyone was a bit doom and gloom and [saying] this is the start of the downturn. But we just turn up each day and think about what we need to do and then go and do it."