A number of senior Broncos players offered to take $10,000 pay cuts in a bid to keep Corey Oates at Brisbane, as reported by the Courier-Mail.
The plan was rejected by the NRL for violating salary cap rules, but stands as a strong testament to the culture and spirit of the club as they look to secure their first premiership since 2006.
It is understood that Oates will nonetheless stay on with the Broncos on an extended contract worth about $500,000 a season, with the deal yet to be announced but widely considered to be all but confirmed.
Oates’ signature would be a huge coup for the salary cap restrained Broncos, with a host of much larger offers from competing clubs initially expected to sway the star wing to a new destination.
The commitment the Broncos players have shown is an encouraging sign for the club, despite veteran coach Wayne Bennett’s imminent and unwillingly departure from the club past the 2019 season.
Bennett was the first ever coach of the Broncos in 1988, a position he retained for a 532-game stint until 2008. He rejoined the Broncos in 2015, and has since contributed another 95 games for the club.