Canberra have re-signed Jack Wighton on one of the biggest contracts in the club's history with an eye to keeping the star five-eighth in lime green for the rest of his career.
Wighton's long-term retention was confirmed by the Raiders on Wednesday, locking him down until the end of 2024.
NRL.com understands Wighton could collect more than $3 million over that period if he continues to rack up representative bonuses through NSW Origin and Kangaroos selection, particularly with this year's UK tour and the 2021 World Cup on the horizon.
Wighton was already contracted for 2020 but his new deal was negotiated after he declined to take up his player option for next season following a change in management.
Canberra officials confirmed that by tying Wighton up for the five years, his contract ranks alongside previous five-year commitments negotiated for Raiders icons Mal Meninga, Laurie Daley, Ricky Stuart and Bradley Clyde.
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Only Terry Campese's six-year deal in 2009 trumps those contracts for length, though injuries cruelled the former Blues five-eighth for much of that time.
Wighton could have earned more by going to market but ultimately chose to remain with the side he first joined as a 16-year-old from Orange in NSW's central west, and hopes to become a one-club player.
"I think I'm on the path to that well and truly with this contract," Wighton said.
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"It's something I'm stoked about, it's something that doesn't happen very much these days. If I can become a one-club player in a city like Canberra, I'd be really grateful.
"I love it here, love the community and love the team.
"I still remember when I moved down, I tried to go home every weekend homesick.
"To be here as one of the main players of the club, trying to help it grow and thrive, it's very special to me and it's something I take with a lot of responsibility now that I've been here so long.
"I want to win a competition with the Raiders.
"I know we have the squad to do it and if we can stay together and continue what we’ve built we’ll be able to achieve our goal.
"I love the club. They’ve always been there for me and I want to repay them by staying and playing the best footy I can to be successful."
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Having celebrated his 27th birthday only last week Wighton will be 31 by the time his new Raiders deal expires.
CEO Don Furner applauded Wighton's loyalty, which comes after he feared for his future at the club just 18 months ago when assault charges clouded his NRL future.
"Jack has been with the club since he was a junior and this deal will see him become a 10-year player at first grade level, which in this era is a significant achievement," Furner said.
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"It’s also worth noting that during the negotiations Jack’s decision to re-sign was based mainly on future success, which shows the belief he has in the club moving forward.”
"Jack could have earnt more money by signing with another club but sacrificed that against what we have here in Canberra.
"He took much less money to stay and that says a lot about Jack and his stability here."