Broncos prop Payne Haas has revealed he will take the field for Brisbane against the Gold Coast Titans on Friday night after dropping a bombshell on his club.
The 22-year-old is arguably one of the most destructive forwards in the NRL and was reportedly seeking an upgrade for the final two years of his contract with the Broncos.
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Set to earn $750,000 this season and $800,000 under his current deal, the damaging prop has been discussed as a million dollar player if he went to another club.
According to Newscorp, Haas’ management asked for an upgraded deal to $1m in 2023 and $1.2m in 2024.
When denied, Haas then asked for a release.
Brisbane quickly shut down the possibility of a release via a statement on the club’s website.
“Payne Haas is contracted to the Brisbane Broncos until the end of the 2024 NRL Season. The Club will not be entertaining a release,” the statement read.
“The Club remains in ongoing discussions with Payne’s management about what the next phase looks like for him at the Broncos.
“That includes ongoing dialogue about an extension to his current contract.”
It kickstarted speculation over whether the Broncos enforcer would play against the Titans on Friday night, and Haas answered the question himself via Instagram.
“All that matters is we got a game tomorrow night and all my focus is on that. All I can control is giving my all tomorrow night for my teammates and you guys. Much love everyone always,” he wrote.
Similarly, Broncos skipper Adam Reynolds confirmed Haas said he would play
“I’ve spoken to Payne and he’s assured us that he’s playing tomorrow, and look he’s a professional and I know he’ll do his job,” Reynolds told Triple M.
“But obviously it’s not the news you want to hear for someone who is an important part of your team and fingers crossed that things get solved and that he’s at the Broncos for a very long time to come.
“Payne is a professional athlete and there’s no doubt he’ll turn up ready to play.”
However, Reynolds also said it was a tough issue to comment on as players can quickly outgrow long-term deals.
“A lot of players sign on long-term deals, take (Selwyn) Cobbo for example looking at a multi-year deal.
“The rise of these kids these days, they go from being 20 years old fringe first graders to superstars of the game and they outgrow their contract pretty quick so it’s sort of a hard one to speak on.
“Payne is a great player who probably signed for a lot less than what he’s worth.
“That’s the risk you take with long-term contracts. The longest contract I ever signed was after we won the comp with Souths but I was well established then and basically the club knew what they were getting from me and what I could deliver for them.
“These kids coming into first grade, some have only played a handful of games and they’re signing five-year deals and getting paid on potential and they probably outgrow that sometimes.
“Maybe they might not live up to it but it’s a hard one because rugby league is such a brutal game and you can’t play forever and obviously you want to make the most out of your career and yeah it’s a tough discussion the NRL need to have.”