Faitala-Mariner is off-contract at the end of the 2022 season as it currently stands, but has only recently returned from an injury which threatened to end his career.
Aged 28, the forward has played 92 NRL games, but didn't make it onto the field after Round 2 in 2021, and only returned to the NRL in Round 11 in 2022.
The time in between saw him deal with a crippling foot injury, which it looked for some time like he wouldn't be able to overcome to make it back to his best.
But overcome it he did, and Faitala-Mariner's form in the last three games - against the Penrith Panthers, Parramatta Eels and Wests Tigers, has been a small glimpse into the potential the Auckland-born forward possesses.
Playing two cameo efforts in Round 11 and 12 before seeing an uptick in his minutes, the last three games has seen Faitala-Mariner add 87, 105 and 165 metres, as well as four offloads and four tackle busts, while also defending strongly in a side who have won their last two games on the trot.
Gould confirmed that Faitala-Mariner would be offered a new deal to remain at the club in 2023 and beyond, and that the Bulldogs were simply waiting to ascertain his true value by watching more games before locking anything in.
Yes. Just giving Ray some time to find his best form, (and he is getting closer every week), before we try to put a $ value on him for future years. I really like RFM. https://t.co/6uGjt73LrR
— Phil Gould (@PhilGould15) June 28, 2022
It comes as the Bulldogs balance their roster for 2023, with Viliame Kikau to join the club as an edge forward.
He will join Tevita Pangai Junior, who started his time at Belmore ahead of the 2022 season, while Jack Hetherington has departed. Other edge forwards at Belmore include young gun Matt Doorey, who could potentially return in the coming weeks, and Jackson Topine, who has been in fine form at NSW Cup level, while Corey Waddell is also contracted until the end of next year.