SUNSHINE COAST, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 28: Dylan Edwards and Isaah Yeo greet fans during a Penrith Panthers NRL training session at Sunshine Coast Stadium on September 28, 2021 in Sunshine Coast, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

November 1 is fast approaching, with all off-contract players allowed to negotiate with other clubs from that date.

The Penrith Panthers are just one of a host of clubs who are set to be in a serious stoush to retain talent, and their premiership victory will only make that job tougher.

Penrith have already indicated previously the number one targets will be to lock up Apisai Koroisau, Dylan Edwards and raging Fijian second-rower Viliame Kikau.

It's long been thought however that retaining all three could prove near impossible with their salary cap situation, following upgrades for James Fisher-Harris, Stephen Crichton, Moses Leota and others, as well as Nathan Cleary's long-term mega deal at the club.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 17: James Fisher-Harris of the Panthers reacts after a Rabbitohs error during the NRL Preliminary Final match between the Penrith Panthers and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium on October 17, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

All three could ask for upgraded salaries when they hit the negotiation table, and the fact none of the trio have yet agreed to a contract in mid-October must be of concern to the Panthers and their passionate fan group.

Now it's been reported by The Australian's Brent Read on Triple M Radio that the NRL's newest club, the Dolphins, who were announced as the competition's 17th franchise earlier this week, could make a play for Edwards to fill their fullback position.

While the club have been heavily tied with both Clinton Gutherson and Kalyn Ponga, Edwards would paint an intriguing proposition for the Dolphins, and one who may come substantially cheaper than the other duo.

“One of the guys on the Dolphins’ radar is Dylan Edwards,” Read said.

“Dylan is one of those November 1 guys and he enters the last year of his deal on November 1.

“Penrith will sit down with him in the next couple of weeks and try and lock up a deal for Edwards."

Read said he expected Edwards to stay at Penrith, however, the 25-year-old still may not be able to get what he wants out of the club, leaving other options in the competition a tantalising prospect.

While the Panthers have made no secret of their desire to hold onto Edwards, Stephen Crichton has also filled in strongly at fullback at times in 2021, and questions surround the club around their ideal number one candidate.

“My expectation is that he will stay. I can’t see him wanting to go. He is very close to Nathan Cleary," Read said.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 03: Nathan Cleary of the Panthers runs the ball during the 2021 NRL Grand Final match between the Penrith Panthers and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium on October 03, 2021, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

“He has a good relationship with that club and he has been an outstanding player for them this year.

“So as much as the Dolphins will have interest in Edwards my gut feel is that Penrith will knock a deal over pretty quickly with Edwards and they will look to get it done by November 1.

“I’m expecting Edwards to sign a long-term extension with Penrith reasonably soon.”

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