North Queensland are on the verge of signing Tigers great Benji Marshall on a one-year deal worth around $150,000, according to The Courier Mail.
Before the arrival of new coach Todd Payten, the Cowboys made it known to current rookie playmaker Jake Clifford that he was free to look elsewhere and talk to rival clubs, which would ultimately pave the way for Marshall to join up with the Cowboys.
Despite being contracted at the Cowboys until next year, it's believed Clifford will join the Newcastle Knights after courting plenty of interest from the club.
Payten has tried to convince Clifford to remain at the Cowboys to learn from Marshall moving forward, but it appears Clifford is ready for a move elsewhere to develop his game.
Marshall, 35, has been told that his services are no longer required at the Tigers, which has allowed him the opportunity to join the Cowboys and former premiership teammate Payten, who believes that Marshall's addition to the squad will bring the much needed experience and playmaking that the Cowboys have been missing.
One thing standing in the way of a deal for Marshall at the moment is his media contract with Fox Sports in Sydney, which could be a problem if he was to move to the Cowboys.
Despite the media contract, the Cowboys are confident they will get their man as they look to escape a fourth consecutive bottom-four finish.
Marshall has proved over the last two years that he is still a difference maker on the field and has what it takes to help propel the Cowboys back up the ladder.
Marshall has made it known that he does not want to retire yet despite being told by the Tigers that he was no longer needed, and said he still has a lot he can bring to the table.
“I feel like I can add a bit of leadership and mentoring to some teams and add a bit of experience,” he said.
“I’m just keen to play, I actually rang Wayne (Bennett) and asked for a bit of advice on playing on and if he thought I could still play on.
“He mentioned that you’re a long time retired, he said if you’ve still got the fire you’re the only person who knows when it’s right to give it away.
“I’m going to look at all opportunities and see what’s out there and who knows. Nobody might be interested, so I might have to retire.”