NRL Trial Match - Cowboys v Broncos
MACKAY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 26: Payne Haas of the Broncos looks on during the NRL Trial match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Brisbane Broncos at BB Print Stadium on February 26, 2022 in Mackay, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

After a roller-coaster season that ultimately ended in disappointment, the Brisbane Broncos are preparing to address the issue of Payne Haas’ contract after the mid-year revelation that derailed their season.

Despite being contracted with the club through to the end of 2024, Haas rocked the Broncos and wider league community when he requested an immediate release from his high-value contract back in May.

That request was rejected, but it’s arguable that it was a contributing factor to Brisbane’s decline over the back-half of the season, despite the parties agreeing to leave talks until the end of the season.

Now, with the campaign officially over, the Broncos are ready to talk things through with their star prop.

“We will sit down with Payne and his management to discuss the situation,” Broncos boss Ben Ikin told the Daily Telegraph.

“We value Payne highly at this club and we see him as an important part of our push for better things in the future.”

The talks come as Haas is set to become the Broncos’ most highly-paid player, with a $100k jump in his salary set to kick in for 2023 – taking him past Adam Reynolds on the pay scale.

Despite the uncertain situation, Ikin was certain the sudden drama had little to do with the Broncos’ subsequent decline.

“The commentary from the outside is how does a player like Payne ask for a release and then turn up the next day and look his teammates in the eye and expect them to remain engaged and connected?

“The players don’t care,” Ikin claimed.

“I ended up having a chat with Payne once I became less emotional and more objective. Payne asked for a release, he was entitled to do that, he is within his rights. “

“But the thing he did straight after the request was rejected, he immediately reaffirmed his commitment to giving his best for the club.”

The 2021 Dally M Prop of the Year has played 81 NRL games for the Queensland club since making his debut in 2018.