SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 17: Thomas Burgess of the Rabbitohs makes a break to score a try and win the match during the round six NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Wests Tigers at Stadium Australia, on April 17, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

The Sydney Roosters have just nine players contracted for 2025, and a number of important, potentially club and future-defining decisions to make.

As it stands on November 1, Trent Robinson's side has decisions to make on 12 players coming off-contract at the end of 2024, not to mention a handful of players they still need to sign for 2024 that may only be included on one-year contracts.

What is clear is that for Joseph Manu - who is one of the biggest names off-contract - the Roosters will need to hope the lure of winning games is enough, given they won't be able to offer him as much money, or the same position on the park as rivals.

The likes of Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Daniel Tupou are also off-contract at the end of 2024 and approaching the end of their careers, while Angus Crichton has a big call to make.

Then there is the pack of young forwards. Siua Wong, Nat Butcher and Terrell May - the Roosters will be desperate to re-sign all three, but money may be an issue.

Brandon Smith's player option that he may or may not take is another issue.

In this series, Zero Tackle are running the rule over every NRL team's state of play for 2025 and the players they need to target in free agency.

Current squad for 2025
Egan Butcher, Lindsay Collins, Spencer Leniu, Tyler Moriarty, Victor Radley, James Tedesco, Robert Toia, Sam Walker, Dominic Young

Current best 17 for 2025
1. James Tedesco
2. Dominic Young
3. Robert Toia
4. No player signed.
5. No player signed.
6. No player signed.
7. Sam Walker
8. Lindsay Collins
9. Tyler Moriarty
10. Spencer Leniu
11. Egan Butcher
12. No player signed.
13. Victor Radley
14. No player signed.
15. No player signed.
16. No player signed.
17. No player signed.

Players off-contract at end of 2024
Nat Butcher, Angus Crichton, Luke Keary, Joseph Manu, Terrell May, Lewis Murphy, Brandon Smith (player option), Sandon Smith, Joseph Suaalii, Daniel Tupou, Sitili Tupouniua, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Naufahu Whyte, Siua Wong

Here are five players available to negotiate on November 1 from outside of the club the Roosters could target for 2025 and beyond.

EVERY PLAYER OFF-CONTRACT AT THE END OF 2024

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1. Thomas Burgess

The Roosters will (likely) lose Jared Waerea-Hargreaves to retirement at the end of the 2024 campaign, and while Spencer Leniu is joining a year ahead of that, the Roosters are going to need more re-enforcements in the front row for 2025.

But given they have plenty of youth already at the club - provided they can make some re-signings from their current list - so that's not what they are going for.

Instead, they need a seasoned professional who can lead from the front, even if only for a single extra season.

Thomas Burgess could be that man. We have already suggested the Newcastle Knights should be another club making a play for him in this series, but now, the Roosters could come to the party as well.

It has become more and more evident that the Rabbitohs won't have the space to retain Burgess in 2025, and while he could move back to England, he still has enough in his game to compete at NRL level, and entice other clubs to make a play for him.

Burgess on a Roosters' bench behind Leniu and Lindsay Collins would give the tri-colours a ferocious middle third rotation in 2025.

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