Brisbane great Kevin Walters has slammed the NRL club over David Fifita's Gold Coast defection, saying factors other than money appear to have influenced his departure.
The ex-premiership skipper had no problem with Fifita snapping up a three-year deal reportedly worth $3.5 million with perennial strugglers Gold Coast.
But Walters but took aim at his former club, saying he believed there was a "lot more" to Fifita's departure than Brisbane's under-fire salary cap management.
Queensland forward Fifita, 20, is set to become one of the NRL's highest-paid players next year after the Broncos could not match his multi-million-dollar Titans contract.
However, in the fallout over the Titans' biggest recruitment coup there have been reports of players becoming disillusioned with Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold as the Broncos have lost eight of their last nine games.
"Obviously David has to look after his future but you can't just base your decision on money," Walters told Sky Sports Radio.
"People play rugby league to win premierships. He felt he couldn't do it right now at Brisbane.
"The Broncos in their history rarely lose a player that they really want to keep.
"They are saying it is a money issue but from the outside looking in there seems a lot more to it."
Walters said Fifita's departure was a bad look for the Broncos' salary cap management.
"Congratulations to the Titans but I am extremely disappointed as a former Broncos captain that he has actually left the club," he said.
"I have got nothing against David. You can't really blame David.
"(But) he should have been the first one signed by the Broncos back in January or February.
"He is your first priority. He's their best player by a country mile.
"I just think the club could have done more to keep him."
Fifita is a chance this week of returning from knee surgery that has sidelined him since the coronavirus shutdown after featuring at Broncos training on Monday.
The second-last Broncos host Cronulla on Friday.
But the Titans are already looking forward to running out alongside Fifita, particularly his good mate and former Keebra Park State High teammate Moeaki Fotuaika.
Fifita will arrive on the tourist strip next year alongside Melbourne wrecking ball Tino Fa'asuamaleaui and bullocking Newcastle forward Herman Ese'ese in what looms as a damaging Titans pack.
"I can really see us a forward pack going somewhere," Fotuaika said.
"It will be great to play alongside him again. He is a class player. He will definitely lead us in the right direction."