Broncos great Gorden Tallis says star forward Tevita Pangai Jr is not worth the $1 million price tag that he has been labelled as.
The 23-year old is off-contract at the end of the season and an all out bidding war is set to take place for his services.
However, Tallis believes Pangai Jr has not yet proven his value as a six-figure salary commodity.
“That price tag’s too much,” Tallis told Queenslanders Only on Fox League.
“Let’s get real. If Taumalolo is the million-dollar forward, that’s what you gauge it on.
“You don’t pay on potential. If you pay on potential you’re going to get hurt.
“We’re sort of watching it with Nathan Cleary. All this potential. It’s a lot of pressure. If you go there on a million dollars, you’re going to get hammered. It’s as simple as that.
“If you go (to Sydney) and you’re playing and you’re earning your stripes and become a million dollar player … he didn’t want to talk to the media this week after having one (bad) game.
“If you come down and you get a million dollars, there’s territory that goes with being the marquee player.
“(Anthony) Milford gets hammered every week, everyone gets hammered if you’re the marquee player.”
Fellow Broncos legend Darren Lockyer echoed these sentiments, stating Pangai Jr has not yet shown enough consistency to warrant such a mega deal.
“Tevita is a great talent but the guys on $1 million deals like Cam Smith or (Johnathan) Thurston, they give you an eight or nine out of 10 every week,” he told the Courier Mail.
“You not only pay for talent but you pay for consistent performance.
“Tevita can turn it on and win you a big game but I don’t think he’s in the $1 million category yet.
Ex-Bronco and Rooster Justin Hodges believes Pangai Jr’s decision will hinge on both lifestyle and career factors.
“It depends on what he wants to do,” Hodges said.
“If he wants to go to the Roosters for the money, well, he has to go.
“If he wants to play Origin football and he wants to play in big moments, he’s better off staying at Brisbane.
“But if he wants to go to North Bondi and drink the lattes and live a happy life then obviously he’ll go to the Roosters.
“There’s so many wonderfully talented players at the Broncos so there’s no way they’re going to pay a million dollars for a frontrower or backrower.”