Broncos legend Gorden Tallis has questioned whether Payne Haas is worth more than $1 million as the star prop prepares to test his value on the open market.
Haas’ Broncos current contract expires at the end of 2024 and the club is eager to re-sign him on a three-year deal said to be worth $1 million a season.
However Haas reportedly baulked at the deal and is now set to be the hottest name on the open market come November 1 with his manager revealing all 16 rivals have expressed interest.
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But Tallis delivered a hard truth via News Corp, declaring: “There’s no Glenn Lazarus in him.”
Lazarus joined the Broncos in 1992 and helped lead them to back-to-back premierships. But Tallis isn’t convinced Haas — a four-time recipient of the Paul Morgan medal — has the same impact.
“I’ve watched him (Haas) really closely,” Tallis said.
“When he was at his best, and close to winning the Dally M, the Broncos got the wooden spoon (in 2020).
“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.”
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Although Haas, 23, will be able to field offers from rivals, his manager has suggested it doesn’t mean he necessarily will leave the Broncos.
“He hasn’t had the chance to test his value, so we want to make sure his deal is fair on the open market and if it is, he will never complain in the future… We just want transparency on his true value and Payne employs me, so he will make the final decision,” Ahmad Merhi said last week.
Haas’ move prompted interesting comments from Tigers chairman Lee Hagipantelis who claimed the merger club have funds ready to make a play for the bustling prop.
Speaking to the Courier Mail, Hagipantelis explained the Tigers could offer Haas a salary north of $1 million-per-season.
“We have cap space and we have the money for a player of Payne Haas’ calibre,” Hagipantelis said.
“His name would be floated at our list-management committee meetings, it would have to be.
“It would be naive to think that a player of the calibre of Payne Haas would not be the subject of consideration internally.
“I don’t partake in discussions at that level, so I can’t comment affirmatively, but I would be very surprised if Payne Haas’ name is not being raised internally, as you would expect it to be.
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“Payne would be an incredible addition to any roster, but whether Benji wants another middle (forward), that’s for him and Tim Sheens to ultimately determine moving forward.”
Meanwhile, Broncos great Corey Parker believes the fact Haas even wants to go to 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.
“If I’m 100 per cent committed to the Broncos cause, I wouldn’t put myself on the open market.”
Haas is regarded one of, if not the best prop in the game. He is a three-time Dally M Prop of the year, and has represented both New South Wales and Australia.
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