SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 04: Tariq Sims of the Dragons looks on after losing the round 20 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Parramatta Eels at WIN Jubilee Stadium on August 04, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

St George Illawarra forward Tariq Sims has been given permission to explore his options for next season as he enters the final year of his deal with the Red V.

It is understood that the veteran second-rower and the Dragons had begun negotiations on a contract extension, only for talks to soon result in the Kogarah club permitting an early exit for the 31-year-old should he find a suitable offer.

As reported by Nine News' Danny Weidler, failed contract discussions have led to Sims potentially departing on an immediate deal ahead of the 2022 season.

The surprising report could mean Saturday's clash against South Sydney could be Sims' last in the Red V, having played 105 games for the Saints since joining from Newcastle ahead of the 2016 season.

A six-time representative for New South Wales - including this year - Sims is sure to bring plenty of experience and fire-power to any potential suitor that would come calling.

The former Cowboy has made a total of 203 NRL appearances and has also represented Fiji on five occasions.

Sims' exit would join an extensive list of departures from St George Illawarra, with Cameron McInnes (Cronulla), Adam Clune (Newcastle), Matt Dufty (Canterbury), Kaide Ellis (Wigan), Brayden Wiliame (rugby), Paul Vaughan (Canterbury) and Eddie Blacker (Penrith) all finding new homes.

The Dragons are also set to part ways half Corey Norman at season's end, as they welcome four recruits from next year.

George Burgess, Moses Mbye, Francis Molo and Jaydn Su'A will all venture to Kogarah from 2022.

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