The Cowboys, Knights and Dragons are reportedly discussing the concept of a three-player swap deal.
The three clubs are considering a move that would centre around out-of-favour Cowboys enforcer Josh McGuire heading to St George Illawarra.
Clifford’s immediate arrival in the Hunter Valley would aid the club’s recent plague of injuries as coach Adam O’Brien searches for reinforcements.
The 23-year-old signed for Newcastle late last year and was due to join the club at the end of the 2021 season.
However, with the Knights pushing to gain Clifford prematurely and the Cowboys keen to both move on McGuire and sign a halfback, a deal including the Red V could be struck.
Griffin has previously coached McGuire at Red Hill, while former Broncos teammate Andrew McCullough expressed his interest in reuniting with the Cowboys forward.
“There are obviously rumours and loopholes in rugby league, but I’m not too sure what the plan is. He’d be a welcome addition,” McCullough said earlier this week.
“It’s one of those things where you don’t want to get involved so I’ll just leave that up to the guys at the Dragons and Josh to work it out.
“Adding any depth to our forward pack will only help, especially if it’s a bloke with his sort of experience. The blokes that are here are doing a fantastic job. We’ve won three on the trot and they deserve all the credit they get.”
The Cowboys confirmed McGuire is free to assess his options elsewhere for the 2022 season, but could be intrigued by a more immediate deal.