It was reported a number of weeks ago that Oates had turned his nose up at the first deal offered to him to stay with the club beyond the end of this year, with a player option in his favour seemingly already turned down for 2024 and 2025.
The deal came with a large pay cut, which Oates had already taken once previously to remain at Red Hill.
Multiple clubs could use a player like Oates, who, after a failed transition to the second-row, won his spot back on the wing last year in Brisbane and returned to his dominant best, scoring tries and becoming one of the competition's biggest metre-eaters.
That form has been stunted this year for the 201-game veteran, who has been limited to just nine appearances and is yet to score a try, although has found his way back into first-grade over the last fortnight, playing against the Canberra Raiders and Melbourne Storm.
Despite not scoring, his production in terms of getting his side onto the front foot has still been first rate, with the winger averaging 185 metres per game.
Oates admitted to The Sydney Morning Herald that injuries had impacted his year, and while he wants to stay at the Broncos, he won't rule out an exit.
“When you're an older player, and you've been here long enough, you know what needs to happen,” Oates said.
“I'll see what comes in the next few weeks. Hopefully things can get sorted, but I'm just happy to be playing footy again. It's been a s--- year for me.
“I think I've made it pretty obvious in my career that this has always been the place. But the way it works these days is if you have to move on, you have to."
The Broncos, however, aren't in a position to break the bank for Oates.
Despite losing Thomas Flegler and Herbie Farnworth to the Dolphins next year, the Broncos' salary cap is still stretched to the brink after the long-term re-signings of Payne Haas and Patrick Carrigan.
The club also have big fish to fry in the coming period, with Ezra Mam off-contract at the end of 2024, Reece Walsh out of a deal at the end of 2025 and an imminent decision to be made on Adam Reynolds.
It means Brisbane - typically frugal with their salary cap - must be smart, and offering a winger a big deal won't tie into the business model going forward given the excellent young depth Brisbane have in their outside backs.
As it stands, Selwyn Cobbo is contracted until the end of 2025, Jesse Arthars is at the club until the end of 2026 and Deine Mariner, who will take Farnworth's spot in the centres next year, is also locked up long-term. Tristan Sailor has signed a two-year deal, and, stuck behind Reece Walsh, will be looking for a spot on the wing next year as well.