Moses Mbye says his days of being a marquee player are over but wants to prove his utility value at the Dragons after confirmation his three-and-a-half-year stint at the Wests Tigers will end this season.
The Dragons officially secured the services of the former Maroons utility on Tuesday after he was granted a release from the final year of his Wests Tigers contract.
Speculation had been swirling for several weeks that the 27-year-old was on his way to the Red V after confirming he had been given permission to explore his options in March despite another 12 months left to run on his contract.
Mbye, who joined the joint venture on lucrative money in 2018, gave his reasons for the early exit on Tuesday, including the notion he hadn't lived up to his price tag and the expectations that come with being paid marquee money.
He was among a list of players who were recruited under former coach Ivan Cleary including Josh Reynolds, Ben Matulino and Russell Packer.
Every try from Round 22
The 28-year-old's career decision is being labelled as selfless for the Wests Tigers given the amount of salary-cap space Mbye's departure will free up at the club for next season.
"When you get paid close to a million dollars a year there's going to be big expectations," Mbye said on Tuesday.
"If you're in a position where I'm in, get paid the big bucks in the centre stage, that's what it is.
How did you spend your first footy pay cheque?
"You've got to expect that sort of thing, you've got to be up for it. That is what came with it and I was up for it [but] I'm not that guy anymore.
"It was just unfortunate for Madge the time when he came in, there was a lot of players who were top heavy on big, long-term contracts.
"I always thought coming towards the end of last year, if I get an opportunity to go elsewhere it'll probably benefit both myself and the club.
"I'm not that marquee guy anymore so I can go down there and give myself the best opportunity to put my best foot forward and you never know I might be that marquee guy again one day.
"The fact that Madge will be able to recruit who he thinks he needs in the side, that was a part of the decision.
"I go down there and on a deal that's far less than what I was up here but I'm just looking forward to playing with a bit afraid and a bit of the unknown."
Mbye has played 154 NRL games since debuting at the Bulldogs in 2014 and played three Origins for the Maroons in 2019.
What is your first footy memory?
The Dragons had made an out-and-out utility of Mbye's ilk a priority in their recruitment as coach Anthony Griffin continues to shape his long-term roster.
Griffin has pulled the trigger in recent weeks to add Mbye, George Burgess and Jaydn Su'A to the Dragons roster after the club's retention was questioned earlier this season.
"Moses is a player we discussed in detail and while it has taken some time for the club to reach a position where we're comfortable in recruiting him, we couldn't be happier bringing in a player of his experience," Dragons general manager of football Ben Haran said.
"Moses's ability to play multiple positions was something we identified as needing in order to strengthen our roster."