Reece Walsh at centre of eye-opening $1.1 million plea from Broncos great

The 21-year-old is at the centre of contract talks after a stellar 2023 season.

NRL great Corey Parker has urged the club to make Reece Walsh (pictured) the highest paid player in Broncos history. (Getty Images)
NRL great Corey Parker has urged the club to make Reece Walsh (pictured) the highest paid player in Broncos history. (Getty Images)

NRL great Corey Parker has urged the Broncos to make Reece Walsh the highest paid player in the club's history as his contract dilemma continues. Walsh has been at the centre of contract talks in recent months with the Broncos looking at keeping the fullback on an extended deal past 2024.

The 21-year-old fullback pocketed around $450,000 in 2023. Walsh cemented himself as arguably the game's best fullback this year having lead the Maroons to a State of Origin series win, while the Broncos reached the NRL final.

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Both Walsh and Ezra Mam - who reportedly was on around $250,000 - are looking at significant upgrades on their next contracts, meaning the Broncos will have to find the money from somewhere. The Broncos threw the cash at prop Payne Haas in the richest deal in the club's history. They have also re-signed representative forward Patrick Carrigan.

But Walsh is quickly becoming one of the faces of the sport. And 347-game club great Parker has urged the Broncos to recognise his value. No Broncos player has ever earned more than $1.1 million, but Parker believes Walsh is worth the push.

“I think they have to pay Reece Walsh a million bucks and probably more actually,” Parker told The Courier Mail. “If Payne Haas is on $1 million, Walsh has to be on at least $1.1 million. He should be the highest-paid player at the Broncos.” Parker said his marketability on and off the field for the Broncos makes the huge amount worth it for the 21-year-old.

Keeping Walsh and Mam appears to be the Broncos' main priorities moving forward. This has seen forward Kurt Capewell linked with a sudden exit to join the Warriors after visiting New Zealand on the weekend. Capewell has a deal with the Broncos until the end of the 2024 season.

While he was expected to travel to the US for the opening round of the NRL, Capewell has now been linked to a shock move to the Warriors where he would join coach Andrew Webster on a three-year deal, according to The Daily Telegraph. Capewell toured the New Zealand Warriors facilities, according to the publication, and want to sign him immediately.

Corey Parker watches on.
Corey Parker (pictured) believes Reece Walsh deserves to be the highest paid player in the Broncos history. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

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Back in September, The Courier Mail’s Peter Badel said Walsh's new deal will likely see him become the NRL's latest million-dollar player - a just reward for a season that's included State of Origin success with the Maroons and seen the 21-year-old touted as one of the game's best fullbacks. It's understood the deals for Walsh and Mam would tie up their futures at the club until at least the end of the 2027 season.

“Their retention drive is in overdrive. Of course they’ve retained Payne Haas recently, they’re about to extend Adam Reynolds and now they are making moves to retain their wonder boys Ezra Mam and Reece Walsh,” Badel said on NRL 360. "They’ve started talks the Broncos with their dynamic duo Walsh and Mam to extend them beyond 2024. At the moment Reece Walsh, 21 year-old, he’s off contract at the end of next year, as is Ezra Mam, but the Broncos insist the duo are going nowhere.

“They are looking to extend them on what I hear is a potential $5 million package deal, at least three years for each of those players. Reece Walsh would become a $1 million player potentially... and Ezra Mam could earn upwards of $700,000 a season. I’m told those deals will be done after the finals but I don’t think they will go on the open market.”

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