One of the best props left on the open market for 2025 in Jacob Saifiti has reportedly signed a contract extension with the club, while coach Adam O'Brien is confident Bradman Best and Phoenix Crossland will soon follow.
The Knights, who stunned the NRL in 2023 to make the semi-finals after at one point being more likely to be in the race for the wooden spoon, had earmarked the three players as their contract priorities.
Saifiti, who had an excellent back half of 2023, was among the best of the props left available for 2025 following the passing of the November 1 deadline in a market which is exceptionally skinny.
But Wide World of Sports are now reporting he has put pen to paper on a new deal to remain in the Hunter, with a three-year extension likely to be announced in the coming weeks by Newcastle that will see him extend his time at the club until at least the end of 2027.
It's believed Saifiti, albeit briefly, did test the market before agreeing to stay with the Knights on a huge new deal.
In even better news for the Knights, coach O'Brien, who is also negotiating his own future to remain at the club after appearing to hang by a thread midway through 2023, told The Newcastle Herald that he is confident Saifiti, Crossland and Best - who is being heavily targeted by the Wests Tigers among other clubs - will re-sign.
"We've got other players who are off contract that we'll be looking to re-sign, but the three guys that we identified [as priorities] were Phoenix, Jacob and Bradman, and I'm confident that all three guys will stay," O'Brien told the publication.
"We're a close group, and I think they believe in the roster and they believe that the club is heading in the right direction. The guys are happy here, and when you've got guys that want to stay, the club will get a deal done, sooner rather than later."
It's believed that all of Best, Saifiti and Crossland - who excelled filling in for Jayden Brailey at hooker in 2023 - will be in for pay increases with their new deals to remain at the Knights, which could put pressure on the club's salary cap which is already swelling thanks to the big-money deals of Kalyn Ponga, Daniel Saifiti and Jackson Hastings among others.