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Want-away Brisbane star Payne Haas has been condemned over his ugly contract dispute with the Broncos, with claims it has done "untold damage" to the rampaging prop's reputation.
Haas has given a number of conflicting statements about his contract stand-off with the Broncos, insisting it is not about the money, but rather the length of the deal.
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However, the 22-year-old - whose management is reportedly seeking more than $1 million-a-season for the forward - says it's also about setting up his daughter's future.
Haas' future at Red Hill has been clouded since he parted ways with his manager, Chris Orr, who had kicked off talks for a new six-year deal with the Broncos last year.
When the split happened, Brisbane put the negotiations on hold.
The Origin forward's new management had approached the club asking to restart talks, but opted to take the nuclear option and ask for a release last week.
Haas, who was on Sunday named in Brad Fittler's NSW Origin squad, requested an immediate release last Wednesday from his existing contract, which runs until the end of the 2024 NRL season.
The 22-year-old said the deal, reportedly worth $6 million across five years, was commensurate with his worth but he said his reluctance to commit to the club was because of the length of the contract.
He initially also said he wanted a clause in his Brisbane contract to leave if the club didn't secure a top-four finish, with NRL 360 co-host Paul Kent calling out the forward's confusing stance.
NRL 360 panel slams Payne Haas
“The disappointing thing for me is the mixed messages,” Kent said on NRL 360.
“He asked for a release based on the fact he feels… he’s gone to the Broncos who have already given him one pay rise within the cycle, without an extension so it was a leap of faith for the Broncos to do that and now he’s gone back and asked for another one.
“Then he’s come out and said it’s not about (money), I want a clause in there that if we don’t finish top four then I’ve got the right to leave the club. Now that’s just crazy.
“But he’s then come out again today and done an interview.... about setting up his future for his daughter, it’s not about him at all now, it’s about setting up a future for his daughter. So it’s back to the money. Of course it’s about the money.
“If he wants the $1.2 he’s not going to get that a club that finishes top four because they don’t let their salary cap get bent out of shape in that respect by overpaying a prop.”
Fellow panelist and veteran league writer Phil Rothfield claimed the ugly saga had done "untold brand damage to Payne Haas".
“That army of Broncos supporters...Those people pay for membership, pay for their jerseys, tickets, meals and it cost them a lot of money," Rothfield said.
"And you know what, their average wage, they wouldn’t earn a 10th of what Payne Haas earns.
Rothfield said it was "disgraceful" of Haas to turn his back on the Broncos after all the club has done to defend him in the wake of several off-field controversies.
“His behaviour in recent years, particularly on the Gold Coast at Tweed Heads where he abused a female police officer, was disgraceful. And the way the club looked after him, protected him and kept him.
“He could have gone then and had his contract torn up, it’s disgraceful the way he’s behaving, he’s been really poorly advised.”
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