Paul Gallen has questioned Manly's decision to re-sign Josh Shuster on a lucrative long-term deal as the playmaker has been axed to the reserves for this week.

As Schuster gets set to play in reserve grade this weekend after being dropped out of the team to the reserves, former NSW Blues and Australian Kangaroos icon Paul Gallen is surprised that the club offered him a long-term deal worth $800,000 a season until the end of 2027.

While no one underestimates the raw talent and potential that Schuster has, the five-eighth who will play in the back-row next year has earnt critics regarding his work ethic and fitness. For a player of Schuster's calibre, it is unheard of that they would be axed twice in one season by their coach.

After forcing Kieran Foran out of the club to partner alongside Daly Cherry-Evans in the Manly halves this year, he has struggled to stay on the field with injury, and when not injured, has struggled to string performances together with anything resembling consistency.

That hit a new low in back-to-back performances against the Penrith Panthers, and then the New Zealand Warriors. On the field for 25 minutes against New Zealand, he didn't make a single run, with his only involvement on the stats sheet being eight tackles.

"I don't know what they do with him - $800,000 a year until 2027, how has someone signed him to that sort of contract?" Gallen said on 100% Footy.

"I always worry about a guy who is that sort of size who is playing in the back row, tells everyone he wants to play five-eighth, then when he gets moved to five-eighth he doesn't do a hell of a lot.

"Then when he gets moved from five-eighth he doesn't take a run in 20 minutes of the match, I think that's a fair sign he's not fully committed to the team.

"I don't know what they do about that, that's a very big contract for a long period of time. I don't know how they get out of that one.

"It's not his fault, someone gave him the contract. So whose fault's that?"

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 16: Josh Schuster of the Sea Eagles passes the ball during the round three NRL match between Manly Sea Eagles and Parramatta Eels at 4 Pines Park on March 16, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)