Cody Walker was tipped to be one of the hottest free agents on the market from November 1.
That was, until the South Sydney Rabbitohs signed him to a one-year extension on the very same day, ensuring he wouldn't be leaving Redfern anytime soon.
Now contracted until the end of 2023, the Rabbitohs will turn their attention to other contracts which will need extending over the next 24 months including State of Origin players Latrell Mitchell and Damien Cook.
It's evident Walker doesn't want to leave the Rabbitohs unless he is forced into it, however, SEN Radio host Jimmy Smith is adamant Cody Walker's one-year contract extension with South Sydney was the best deal on the NRL market, with potentially no other suitors despite the rumoured widespread interest.
The Dolphins were just one of the teams who were said to be chasing Walker, however, Smith believes Walker's age may have prevented that from ever becoming a serious discussion.
“If you’re looking at 2024, beyond this deal that he’s currently signed he’s going to be 34 years old,” Smith said on SEN 1170 Mornings.
“I know it’s different to Adam Reynolds, you probably think physically he’s probably in a better spot than Reynolds and he hasn’t had the wear and tear, he didn’t play his first game until he was 26 years of age.
“I would be really interested to see if it was the Rabbitohs who said, ‘No, we’re only giving you one year’.
“If it was the Rabbitohs that were only offering one year, why didn’t you sign two years somewhere else?
“Because of the really great relationship you have with Wayne Bennett, isn’t that a logical one? Aren’t you a two-year player at The Dolphins? Then you think, well if Wayne’s not doing that, who’s Wayne got in his back pocket already?”
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Smith believes that Bennett would have offered Walker a deal if he didn't have anyone else in his sights and he told listeners who he believes the legendary coach has in his sights.
“I know that it happens very quickly, but if Wayne’s saying to Cody, ‘Cody, we don’t want you here, sign what you can now’.
“He would give him the tip-off saying, ‘Take that deal on offer with the Rabbitohs’, the reason he’s saying that is because he has someone else to play in that six jersey in their first game.”
SEN co-host Matt White shared Smith's opinion, voicing that Wayne has a good idea of of who he wants in his side in 2023.
“Exactly, there’s no way in the world Wayne Bennett going to leave himself without a man that he wants,” White added.
Furthermore the Munster speculation is an interesting one seeing that Melbourne Storm chairman Matt Tripp strongly believes that the best thing for the Queensland five-eighth is to stay in Melbourne. However only time will tell where he ends up next