(l-r) Wests Tigers' Luke Brooks, South Sydney's Damien Cook, St George Illwarra's Matt Dufty and Cronulla's Val Holmes could all be up for grabs.
(l-r) Wests Tigers' Luke Brooks, South Sydney's Damien Cook, St George Illwarra's Matt Dufty and Cronulla's Val Holmes could all be up for grabs.

$20m worth of NRL talent goes on the market

ABOUT $20 million worth of elite rugby league talent will go on the open market from midnight on Wednesday which is expected to trigger a rich signing frenzy expected over the next week.

The NRL's November 1 deadline has arrived and players coming off contract after next season will be able to be officially signed and registered for 2020.

Cronulla's Queensland and Australian international Valentine Holmes heads a star-studded list of off-contract players which includes New Zealand Warrior Shaun Johnson, Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks, Sydney Roosters Queensland Origin forward Dylan Napa, South Sydney twins George and Tom Burgess, Parramatta halves Mitchell Moses and Corey Norman and NSW Origin forwards Damien Cook (South Sydney), Wade Graham (Cronulla) and Tariq Sims (St George Illawarra).

The Daily Telegraph estimates the total worth on the open market at around $20 million.

And with five teams bringing in new coaches, clubs will be looking to restructure their rosters to suit new playing styles.

Clubs are frantically manoeuvring their salary caps with a view to landing some of the big names.

North Queensland are believed to be interested in luring Holmes to the Cowboys, Moses and Norman are rumoured to be on the Warriors' short-list to replace Johnson, who could take the retiring Cooper Cronk's place at the Sydney Roosters, while Napa has already been linked to Parramatta and Newcastle.

Parramatta’s Mitchell Moses is off contract at the end of next season. Picture: AAP
Parramatta’s Mitchell Moses is off contract at the end of next season. Picture: AAP

There are suggestions Manly's Dylan Walker could return to Souths, while Brisbane's Alex Glenn and Parramatta's Bevan French could be Gold Coast-bound.

"It's the time when people start to speculate about what their position is," leading player manager Sam Ayoub said.

"There's some big names there. Some big names.

"November 1 means players that come off contract for 2019 can now formally be pursued.

"From my point of view, it hasn't worried me when my players come off with a year to go because you like them to get some footy under their belt before you even look to start talking to clubs.

Shaun Johnson could leave the Warriors at the end of next season. Picture: Getty Images
Shaun Johnson could leave the Warriors at the end of next season. Picture: Getty Images

"In a lot of cases, unless you're in the top couple of per cent, you can potentially be doing yourself an injustice by jumping in too early. There are a limited number of spots available at clubs."

Many of the offers will be upwards of $750,000 a season.

There were suggestions on Tuesday St George Illawarra could offload exciting fullback Matt Dufty now.

Players can negotiate with rival clubs at any time but none can be officially signed and registered by the NRL until November 1.

Roosters hitman Dylan Napa has been linked with Parramatta and Newcastle. Picture: Getty Images
Roosters hitman Dylan Napa has been linked with Parramatta and Newcastle. Picture: Getty Images

"The rules are that negotiations can take place at any time with any club," said top manager Steve Gillis.

"Players don't have to wait until November 1 before they talk to anyone. They can talk to a club three years ahead if they want.

"But the NRL only registers contracts from November 1 in the year prior to the player completing their current contract."

Some clubs may make announcements within the next week. While a flurry of movements are expected, the frenzy of player movement has diminished in recent years.

OFF CONTRACT NRL STARS

Luke Brooks (Wests Tigers), Chris Lawrence (Wests Tigers), Mitch Aubusson (Sydney Roosters), Dylan Napa (Sydney Roosters), Zane Tetevano (Sydney Roosters), Matt Dufty (Dragons), James Graham (Dragons), Kurt Mann (Dragons), Tariq Sims (Dragons), George Burgess (Souths), Tom Burgess (Souths), Damien Cook (Souths), Bevan French (Parramatta), Clint Gutherson (Parramatta), Mitch Moses (Parramatta), Corey Norman (Parramatta), Coen Hess (Cowboys), Shaun Johnson (Warriors), Issac Luke (Warriors), Dylan Walker (Manly), Wake Graham (Sharks), Val Holmes (Sharks), Michael Lichaa (Bulldogs), Luke Bateman (Canberra), Jordan Rapana (Canberra), Alex Glenn (Broncos)

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