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.
EXCLUSIVE: Dragons Origin star Tariq Sims has been told if he can find a long term deal at another club he can take it up immediately. Sims approached the Dragons about extended deal beyond 2022 and was told no deal available @9NewsSyd @NRLonNine
— Danny Weidler (@Danny_Weidler) September 3, 2021
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.
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.