Kevin Walters and Broncos hierarchy are confident there is little risk, and just as little rush, in formalising the lengthy upgraded extension for star prop Payne Haas.
NRL.com understands that a possible six-year extension has been discussed by Brisbane officials and Haas's management recently and in turn been taken to the club's board given the multi-million-dollar terms involved.
No offer has been tabled as yet to Haas, who is already contracted until the end of 2024 on the original six-year deal that was signed when he was 18.
Brisbane took the unusual step of issuing a club statement this week to insist Haas has not signed a new deal following reports of just that.
Walters pushing to sign Haas long-term
It's understood an upgrade that was already built into Haas's current contract was triggered earlier this year, though his value as the NRL's No.1 prop - which NRL recruitment managers indicate would sit around $850-$900K - has far exceeded his current wage.
Both the Broncos and Haas's camp acknowledge this as the terms of an additional three-year extension, and potential upgrade of the three years he is already contracted for is worked through.
The recent releases of Matt Lodge (Warriors) and Tevita Pangai jnr (Bulldogs) from contracts that paid more than $750,000 each next season, were made in part with an eye to upgrading Haas amid an extensive roster overhaul.
Despite around one in three long-term player contracts (four years or more) not being seen through since 2017, Walters sees Haas as a decidedly different prospect given his rapid rise still at just 21, rare fitness and professionalism towards his training.
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"I don’t think it’s a risk, particularly with Payne and his attitude towards the Broncos and his football," Walters said of a long-term extension.
"The professional that he is, I see it as a good long-term investment for the Broncos.
"The thing with Payne is he is still contracted with us for a few more years so we aren’t too concerned [about completing the deal].
"He is playing good footy, he has had his best season at the club and while he maintains on that path, he is still only 21 years of age so he is a good long-term prospect for us.
"He's a perfect example of what a Bronco looks like.
"He's the first at training and the last to leave and that's what we want to see around the place."
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Of the all-too-recent days where big-money, long-term deals like those for Lodge, Anthony Milford, Darius Boyd, Matt Gillett, Jack Bird and Andrew McCullough have come back to bite the Broncos, Walters said: "We're very confident those days are gone.
"The decisions that we make, we put a lot of thought into them.
"Dave [Donaghy, CEO], Ben [Ikin, football boss] and Simon [Scanlan, recruitment chief] are working through the process on a possible long-term deal for Payne, which is great news for us."
Given the physical toll playing up front entails, particularly in the high-octane six-again era, arguably no position is more likely to see a player's form fluctuate more than prop.
Of the big men in recent times that have maintained lofty standards like Haas's across the majority of their career; only the elite front-rowers like Shane Webcke, Petero Civoniceva, Jesse Bromwich and Matt Scott among others have done so, while middle forwards like Jason Taumalolo, Paul Gallen and Corey Parker have played similar roles.
Even Taumalolo has endured a tough 2021 campaign under new Cowboys coach Todd Payten due to injury and form with another six years to run on his own 10-year deal.
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Taumalolo, Haas and Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans are all represented by Pacific Sports Management, with Cherry-Evans' own eight-year deal the second-longest in the game behind Taumalolo's.
The long-term commitment Brisbane are entertaining with Haas would match that made to NSW Origin teammate Daniel Saifiti, who earlier this year inked a five-year Knights extension until the end of 2026.
Penrith's James Fisher-Harris and injured Roosters prop Lindsay Collins are both signed up for another five years as well.
While Haas will lead the Broncos once more in Saturday's clash with Cronulla, highly-rated teen back-rower Brendan Piakura is a chance of making his NRL debut pending the fitness of Jordan Riki.
Riki failed to complete Friday's captain's run due to an ankle injury and was rated by Walters as a "60-40%" chance of playing.
Piakura himself has struggled with injury this season and seen little game time due to COVID-19's impact on the InTrust Super Cup, but has been tipped for a bright future.
The 19-year-old's re-signing earlier this year for three years was seen as a much-needed coup for the Broncos given he knocked back lucrative offers from Canterbury and the Gold Coast to do so.
"We will see how Jordy goes and if he is out, Brendan will play," Walters said.
"We are comfortable with where Brendan is at, we know he will be a really good player for us ... he is one for the future.
"He [Piakura] has had a few injury setbacks this year but he is a player with a lot of talent and we have a lot of belief in what Brendan can bring for us."