While over 190 players are off-contract at the end of the 2023 season, and a pair of swaps between clubs have been announced, a month after that group was allowed to sign with rival clubs, the first deal for a straight move has been struck.
News first broke last week that Palasia was keen on a shift to the Titans for the 2023 season, however, the Broncos denied an immediate release to the forward, who can play in the middle and on the edge.
The club confirmed today that the move will happen in 2024.
“We're excited to have Keenan join us and we know, given the way he plays the game, that he will fit in with our forward pack,” head coach Justin Holbrook said in a statement.
“He's a player that is able to play big minutes and has shown his versatility in the games he has played so far.
“Keenan has had a good taste of NRL football already, but we're confident that he will continue to develop his game and we're thrilled that he will be doing that with us at the Titans.
"He went to school at Palm Beach Currumbin State High School and is keen to come home to the Gold Coast and to represent the region which is something I like."
Palasia has stated that he wants to be closer to home on the Gold Coast, and it's understood the move south will come with a pay increase of around $100,000 per season.
“I have let ‘Kevvie' know I would prefer to head home,” Palasia said last week.
“I spoke to Kevvie about it.
“He said he wants to keep me and there is a role for me within the squad.
“The Broncos have been good to me, which is why I stayed loyal last time, and Kev has been great in how straight he is with his decisions and communication.
“My best years are ahead of me and I want to play at a club which I feel better suits my style of play.”
The forward only 12 months ago turned down a $250,000 per year deal with the Manly Sea Eagles over four years to stay loyal to the Broncos, who had stuck by him through a string of injuries.
It's understood Palasia had interest from not just the Broncos and Titans, but also the Dragons and Warriors.
Palasia started five of the first six games at prop, and the other on the edge, but from there watched his role dwindle. He only had two further starts during the season as the Origin period again created opportunities.
At the Titans, however, Jarrod Wallace, Herman Ese'ese and Sam Lisone have all walked out the exit gate. That leaves Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, Moeaki Foutaika, Isaac Liu, Jaimin Jolliffe and Sam McIntyre to battle for the spots at 8, 10 and 13. Of that group, McIntyre is the only player unsigned for 2024, when Palasia is set to arrive at the club.
It's unclear if the Titans could still make another push for Palasia to join the club early in 2023, however, it's understood Kevin Walters views Palasia as a part of the Broncos' premiership push in 2023 after the Red Hill-based side fell out of the top eight in dramatic circumstances during the final six weeks of last season.