Key men secure deals as clubs eye talent
MEET the salary cap gate crashers - four key off-contract players about to secure late summer contracts for next season.
Despite most NRL clubs being on their salary cap limit, Parramatta's Michael Jennings, Brisbane's Alex Glenn, St George Illawarra's Tristan Sailor and Canberra's Sam Williams are ready to sign new contracts at their existing clubs this week.
The four players remain unsigned for next season along with a host of players off contract right now just waiting for the phone to ring with a new offer.
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They include James Segeyaro, Aaron Gray, Kurt Capewell, Ryley Jacks, Te Maire Martin, Lloyd Perrett, Josh Hoffman, Kyle Turner, Zane Tetevano, Mitch Allgood, Brenko Lee, Jack Stockwell and Issac Luke - players most believe too good to be lost to the NRL.
The Daily Telegraph can though reveal Jennings, Glenn, Sailor and Williams have been in contract talks and will sneak into their club's top 30 roster.
Jennings could be announced as early as Tuesday while Sailor was spotted at the Dragons on Monday. Glenn has been promised a new deal at Brisbane after rejecting interest from Penrith with Williams expected to be retained at Canberra.
Off-contract Segeyaro is fighting drug charges and won't be re-signed by Brisbane. He was suspended in early October after returning an A-sample for Ligandrol.
His career looks dangerously close to ending.
At 32, Luke wants to continue his NRL career but cannot find a club. There is a suggestion he would be prepared to play again in 2020 for less than $200,000. Manly had inquired about Luke but that interest has waned.
Cronulla has been unable to retain Capewell, prompting Sharks teammate Chad Townsend to say in August: "It's sort of amazed me that he's still unsigned for next year. I think he'd be an asset to any team he goes to."
The Warriors had been linked to Capewell but no deal has been reached.
Williams, Canberra's back-up halfback over the later stages of last season, remains unsigned - although a new deal looms - with the club buying English number seven, George Williams.
Gold Coast will allow three players from this year to move on.
Jacks, Lee and Stockwell are searching for clubs, as is Perrett. Two well-known players who could attract interest at the right price are Hoffman and Martin.
Some clubs are surprised South Sydney utility Kyle Turner, 27, is unwanted at present. He proved invaluable for the Rabbitohs when in the back-row or centre last season.
When told he was unwanted, Turner said: "It is a hard thing to hear, this is a club I grew up loving and I wanted to finish my career here."
Sydney Roosters forward Zane Tetevano has been squeezed out of Bondi. He has been strongly linked to Wests Tigers, Penrith, St George Illawarra and Gold Coast.
Wests Tigers remain favourites although English Super League club Warrington remains an option. Allgood is also hunting a new deal.