Justin Hodges is set for a $1 million pay day after starting negotiations on a new contract that could make him a Bronco for the rest of his life.
In a major boost for Hodges ahead of tonight’s clash against the Roosters in Gosford, The Courier-Mail can reveal the Broncos have started talks with the off-contract 28-year-old, who wants to remain at Red Hill until the end of 2014.
Hodges’ manager George Mimis met with Broncos operations chief Andrew Gee on Wednesday.
Negotiations are in the preliminary stage but the former Test centre is keen to secure a three-year deal and could command about $350,000 a season given his status as Brisbane’s blue-chip backline star.
Hodges’ career was at the crossroads just over a year ago when he snapped his achilles tendon and wiped out his 2010 campaign.
But he has bounced back well this season and the Broncos want the Maroons centre to mentor the next generation of backline stars headed by Jharal Yow Yeh, Gerard Beale, Jack Reed and Dale Copley.
Gee confirmed the Broncos were eager to reward Hodges with a multi-year deal after his determination in fighting back from the career-threatening achilles injury.
Hodges had been linked with a move to England last year. There were also concerns about his state of mind after the Cairns junior waged a battle with depression two years ago.
But Hodges has become a more content individual. He married partner Gyanne Watson last June and Broncos insiders have detected a desire to be a leader at the club.
Mimis said Hodges could not be happier at Red Hill after a turbulent past two years.