Darren Lockyer's huge call on Payne Haas amid 'richest ever' contract detail

The Broncos are desperate to tie down the NRL superstar on what would be the biggest deal in the club's history.

Brisbane legend Darren Lockyer has described Payne Haas as the best prop in the game ahead of the NRL star's likely contract extension. Pic: Getty

Brisbane Broncos legend Darren Lockyer has hailed Payne Haas as the best prop in the game and says there is "no doubt" the NRL ladder-leaders want to tie the 23-year-old down to a record-breaking new contract. Haas is reportedly set to sign the richest deal in Broncos history, in a staggering backflip after wanting out of the club last year.

Haas - who is currently on around $850,000 this season - has been a wrecking ball up front for the Broncos, who finally tasted their first defeat of the season in round 6 against Canberra. The NSW prop is set to be rewarded for his sensational form with a bumper three-year contract extension that will reportedly be worth in excess of $1 million per season.

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The Broncos have already locked up Maroons star Patrick Carrigan, as well as young guns Jesse Arthars, Deine Mariner and coach Kevin Walters, in a promising development for the future of the club. Haas is the next priority for the Red Hill-based club and Broncos board member Lockyer says a lucrative new deal is warranted for the club's three-time best and fairest winner.

“There is no doubt about that,” Lockyer said to The Courier Mail about the Broncos wanting to extend Haas' contract. “He has already won (three) Paul Morgan Medals.

“He is the best prop in the game and he has done really well in keeping (at bay) his off-field distractions and just focusing on his footy. There is no denying how good he is for us and what he has done.

“He has always said he wants to win premierships. The Broncos playing well and winning on a weekly basis I think would add a bit of value to what Payne wants to do.”

Payne Haas set for richest deal in Brisbane history

Haas' imminent new deal comes after he was booed by his own fans at Suncorp Stadium last year when it emerged he'd requested a release from the club. The Broncos struggled at the start of 2022, and Haas wanted out.

However he later backflipped on his release request and admitted the response from fans had left him rattled. "I underestimated the public interest in my contract situation, so I want to put those discussions on hold and keep my focus where it needs to be," Haas said in a club statement. "I want the fans to know that they will get nothing but my best every time I pull on a Broncos jersey."

Haas' management team were reportedly seeking $1 million for the 2023 and 2024 seasons, with an upgrade to $1.2 million for the 2025 season. News of his impending new deal has understandably left Broncos fans brimming with excitement and optimism for the future.

Pictured right, Payne Haas celebrating a try for the Broncos in round five of the NRL against the Wests Tigers.
Payne Haas celebrates a try for the Broncos in round five of the NRL against the Wests Tigers. Pic: Getty (Bradley Kanaris via Getty Images)

Anthony Milford remains the only $1 million per season player in Broncos history but according to league journalist Ben Dobbin, the deal for Haas will be even bigger. “It’s a long-term deal and it would make him the richest player in the history of the Broncos. Remember there has been a million-dollar player before, Anthony Milford, well Payne Haas will surpass that by plenty," he said last week.

“He is elite, in the top three or four forwards in the game and he is so significant to the Brisbane Broncos now because they lost (Thomas) Flegler. They’ve got (Patrick) Carrigan and the Carrigan and Payne Haas one-two punch is crucial to their success. Payne Haas wants to be a winner, he wants to go somewhere where they’ll challenge for a premiership."

Walters, who signed a new deal until the end of 2025 as Brisbane's coach, backed recruitment chief Simon Scanlan, CEO Dave Donaghy and the retention and recruitment committee, which includes Lockyer, to get the job done with Haas. "Payne is one of those guys we believe belongs at the Broncos and that is why Dave, Simon and his gang will do everything to make sure that happens," Walters said.

"Payne is loving his footy and probably playing the best footy of his career so we'd like to think he can maintain that in a Broncos jersey."

with AAP

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