In six games, he has well and truly shown more than he did in his first NRL stint between 2016 and 2020, when he played for first the Newcastle Knights (20 games) and then the Canterbury Bulldogs (22 games).
Ultimately, it's his debut club who have reportedly snared the signature for next year, with The Sydney Morning Herald and Wide World of Sports The Mole reporting that the deal is either done or exceptionally close to falling over the finishing line.
— The Mole (@9_Moley) July 30, 2023
According to the report, the Panthers were keen to retain Cogger for another year as the backup to Luai and Cleary, with the added caveat that Luai could be moving on at the end of next season.
As it stands, Luai remains uncontracted for 2024 and will likely test the free agency market from November 1, with the Panthers' salary cap stretched.
That could mean the spot in the halves next to Cleary opens up, with the Panthers also recently signing local junior Daine Laurie to rejoin the club from the Wests Tigers, where he will play second fiddle in both the halves and at fullback next year before potentially pushing for Luai's spot in 2025.
But the Panthers had only offered Cogger a single season, and while they did revise the deal to two years, it's understood the Knights have swept in to take his contract.
The Wests Tigers were also believed to have shown interest in Cogger, however, are now pursuing Aidan Sezer and Jayden Sullivan, who has reportedly been cleared to seek a contract elsewhere and opt out of his deal at the St George Illawarra Dragons.
Cogger's move to the Knights makes a world of sense for both parties.
Cogger wants to play first-grade and seemingly has the best chance of doing so and cementing a spot at the club he debuted under, who is also said to have confirmed Adam O'Brien will stay as head coach for 2024 despite speculation swirling regarding his future.
It's believed an announcement on Cogger's future will be made official in the coming days.