As The Dolphins locked down the long-term future of Isaiya Katoa until the end of the 2028 season, two playmakers still remain without a deal for next season.

These two players are Kodi Nikorima and Anthony Milford.

While Nikorima is currently performing alongside Katoa at NRL level, Anthony Milford hasn't been seen in first grade since Round 24, 2023 or the QLD Cup since last year's quarter-final defeat.

With his future at The Dolphins clouded in uncertainty, Wayne Bennett has provided an answer when asked about his future as he remains off-contract.

“He can't do much with his career until he gets his hamstring right,” the coach replied via The Sydney Morning Herald.

“Get his hamstring right, and we will talk about his career.”

Milford was one of the first players signed by Bennett for the club's maiden season in 2023 but was continually overlooked in favour of Katoa, Nikorima and Sean O'Sullivan.

The mastermind coach would also question Milford's professionalism throughout last season.

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Earlier in the season, assistant coach Nathan Fien put the playmaker on notice and declared that he would have to fight hard to keep a spot in the club's Top 30 roster heading into the future.

“Everything he has done during the pre-season has been really pleasing from a performance point of view,” Fien told SENQ Breakfast.

“He's the fittest that I've ever seen him and he's moving quicker. For ‘Milf' (Milford), the writing is on the wall (and) we've got so much depth in his position.

“He will definitely have to be at his best to pull on the starting (six) jersey or wherever Wayne wants him to play. Milf can definitely bring something to our (and) his skill execution is still world class.

“It's a matter of him being focused and being fit enough to buy into what we are trying to do here at the club.

"He has made some massive improvements in that area and if he continues, it'll make it very hard for Wayne not to pick him.”

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A 219-game veteran of the NRL, Milford has played for The Dolphins, Canberra Raiders, Brisbane Broncos and Newcastle Knights over the course of his career.

Able to play in the halves, at fullback or at hooker, he has also represented Samoa on the international stage and Queensland in State of Origin football.

Over the course of the 2023 season, he was continually linked with a potential move to the Super League overseas before it was reported that a deal fell through for him to join the Leigh Leopards, who are coached by former NRL halfback Adrian Lam.

“Honestly, I think it's a bit more of a confidence thing, especially because he actually killed it over the preseason,” Katoa said on his halves teammate.

“He dropped a lot of weight, he was a lot fitter, his numbers in the gym were amazing.

“To see him wanting to get back into the competition in the halves has been awesome, and I think it only makes us all better.”