McLean was once one of the game's premier props during an 86-game stretch at the Melbourne Storm between 2013 and 2017.
He was involved in plenty of success in the Victorian capital, making his debut for the Australian national team during his final year there.
It led to him signing a monster contract with the Cowboys worth around $700,000 per year which included a two-year player option, taking the total length to five years.
His form has fallen right away at the Cowboys though. He played 24 games during the 2021 season, but made just 108 metres per game and lacked threat with the ball, only adding 14 tackle busts and a single offload.
His current contract is up for renewal at the end of this year, and as yet, there has been little speculation over whether the Cowboys might want to keep him, or whether another club will come in to offer the 30-year-old a new deal.
According to The Daily Telegraph, his current value could be more than halved to around $300,000 per season. It's understood a rival club have expressed interest, but are only willing to pay around that figure, rather than the $700,000 he has reportedly been on.
It's unclear which club may have expressed interest in McLean given his form. The Dolphins may have at one point, however, with the signing of experienced forwards Jesse Bromwich and Mark Nicholls in the middle third, it would appear highly unlikely they will chase any more veterans in the middle.
The Melbourne Storm - McLean's former club - will lose Jesse Bromwich, while Neslon Asofa-Solomona's future is anything but secure at the club, while some other young rosters such as the Canterbury Bulldogs and Wests Tigers could inquire about a player like McLean.