Premiership-winning Broncos great Gorden Tallis has questioned whether Payne Haas is a game-changer for Brisbane, amid the ongoing contract saga around the representative forward. Haas' manager revealed last week that the prop will test his value after hitting the NRL open market on November 1.
The 23-year-old is off contract at the end of 2024 and has spoken of his desire to emulate five-time premiership-winning prop and Broncos great, Glenn Lazarus. It was reported earlier this year that the Broncos had tabled the richest deal in the club's history for Haas, said be worth around $1 million per season if he remains at Red Hill.
Haas has instead opted to test the open market and will be arguably the most sought-after signature come November, with all 16 rival clubs understood to have expressed interest in the 23-year-old. However, Tallis has dropped a brutal truth bomb on the three-time Dally M Prop of the year, by questioning whether Haas is worth more than $1 million per season.
Tallis told News Corp there's "no Glenn Lazarus in him" and suggested that $1 million players were ones with the ability to change the outcome of a game - something he questions whether Haas can do. “When he was at his best, and close to winning the Dally M, the Broncos got the wooden spoon (in 2020)," Tallis said.
“As good as Payne Haas is, and he’s an unbelievable player, it’s about changing the results. Is he the player that changes the result? That’s what you ask yourself.”
Payne Haas to test his value on the NRL open market
Haas last year sought a release from Brisbane after being unconvinced the club was the right place to match his premiership aspirations. The Broncos - currently second on the ladder - have addressed those concerns this season but despite being among the favourites for this year's grand final trophy, Haas is still keen to explore other options.
"Payne wants to be in a competitive team and he wants to be competitive week-in and week-out," Haas' manager Ahmad Merhi told AAP last week. "Right now we are definitely going until November 1. Payne's concerns (last year) were about playing in a team that is performing and achieving the best for his career on the playing field.
"Brisbane is ticking all the boxes with what they are doing competitively and what they are doing as a group. You can understand where his frustrations were last year. This is the first year in five seasons in the NRL that he will be playing semi-final football."
Agent denies Payne Haas is demanding $1 million per season
Merhi said with only a little over four months until November, it would be silly for Haas not to wait and see what interest there is. He denied suggestions that they are seeking a $1 million-per-season deal for his client.
"There was commentary that said we want $1 million (per season). We have never said that. Payne is worth what a club is willing to pay him. It is just a commercial decision to wait until November 1."
Haas' manager says his client doesn't necessarily want to leave Brisbane but Broncos great Corey Parker says the fact the 23-year-old wants to go on the open market is a "concern" for the club. “If he wants to stay at Brisbane, why is he going to the open market?” Parker told News Corp.
“It’s a real concern for the Broncos. It’s going to be very hard for Brisbane to keep him long-term, because if Payne truly wants to be a Bronco, he doesn’t put himself on the open market on November 1."
Broncos coach Kevin Walters says he has no issues with Haas' move and is confident the prop will remain "a Bronco for life". "We're comfortable with the position, what Payne's doing," Walters said.
"My thoughts personally are that Payne will be a Bronco for life. We've got a great environment here, Payne knows we want him to stay here and he's aware that he loves being at the place."
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