MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30: Brandon Smith of the Storm celebrates with team mates after scoring a try during the round eight NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Cronulla Sharks at AAMI Park on April 30, 2021, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The NRL's most prized off-season signature, Brandon Smith, appears to have just about made his mind up.

The Dolphins, with an empty salary cap and 30 roster positions to fill between now and next November, are being tipped to secure the New Zealand international star hooker and lock forward.

The Melbourne Storm were tipped to be given a final chance to table an offer for Smith, who visited the North Queensland Cowboys, Gold Coast Titans, Sydney Roosters and Dolphins over the last fortnight since the calendar moved to November 1 and he was free to negotiate.

The New Zealand Warriors were also rumoured to be interested at one point, however, are believed to have not made a play for Smith, who was born in the Auckland region.

Smith's apparently imminent signing away from the Storm won't come as a surprise to anyone given his agent Stan Martin publically declared he would be available to any and all offers.

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The 25-year-old was named as hooker of the year to the Dally M team of the year at the end of the season and The Daily Telegraph's Dean Ritchie told Sky Sports Radio's Big Sports Breakfast that the Dolphins were now the front-runner for his signature, while the club also ruled out another Melbourne star.

“I spoke to the Dolphins two days ago and I mentioned a couple of names. Brandon Smith, they’re very confident. I mentioned Cameron Munster and they said ‘no, that won’t be happening’,” Ritchie said.

Ritchie also said that they may have other players ahead of Smith, but are now unlikely to land them.

“I think they had other people in mind but I don’t think they’re going to get those other players,” he said.

“So I figure that their logic is, ‘we have to get somebody soon who is a big name and we need somebody in the spine so we can attract other players,’ so this could be the signing that they’re after."

GOSFORD, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 11: Cameron Munster of the Melbourne Storm in action during the round 21 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Melbourne Storm at Central Coast Stadium on August 11, 2019 in Gosford, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

The Dolphins have been rumoured to be chasing three fullbacks in Kalyn Ponga, Clint Gutherson and Dylan Edwards as another part of their spine, while rumours on Wednesday morning suggest they may be open to signing a workmanlike half to hold things over until they can potentially get their hands of Jahrome Hughes in 2024.

Patrick Carrigan has also been heavily linked to the club after reportedly knocking back a contract extension from the Brisbane Broncos in recent weeks.