The crop of off-contract halves has yet again seen a decrease in star names, with Melbourne playmaker Jahrome Hughes signing a new deal to remain with the Storm.
The contract allows Hughes to remain in purple until the end of the 2023 season, whilst holding the option for a further 12 months should he look to extend his tenure at AAMI Park.
While the news is a massive hand for the Storm as the club looks to secure key figures for the future as part of their new look era, it is a major blow for circling rivals, namely the Warriors.
🚨 BREAKING 🚨
— ZeroTackle.com (@zerotackle) March 3, 2021
The Auckland-based club made their intentions clear in hope of securing the 26-year-old, who was seen as a viable successor to the departing Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
Their captain's pending exit is set to open up over $1 million in spare change, meaning a star halfback or fullback can certainly fall under the budget.
With Hughes and Penrith young gun Jarome Luai now tied up, along with Newcastle closing in on a new deal for veteran Mitchell Pearce, the Warriors' options are depleting.
While the chase is pacey, there are several obvious options for Nathan Brown and co.
Speaking on SEN, reporter Michael Carayannis highlighted a quartet of suitors the Warriors could chase, placing Souths skipper Adam Reynolds atop the pile.
“You’d suggest Mitchell Pearce will stay for a future season with the Newcastle Knights." he said. “So, the attention shifts to Adam Reynolds and the situation at South Sydney.
“Wouldn’t he be perfect for a club like the Warriors?
“I know Shaun Johnson’s manager reached out to the Warriors to see if there was any interest, that would be a bit of a homecoming.
“There’s Tom Dearden from Brisbane who’s off contract and Corey Norman is also off-contract.
“There’s a few guys with points to prove, so it’s going to be an interesting market in the halves for the next few months.”
The Warriors currently have 14 players off-contract, headlined by Tohu Harris, Kodi Nikorima, Karl Lawton and Bunty Afoa.