Citing a desire to play more minutes in the number 13 jersey, the 2015 premiership winner came to the conclusion that his aspirations would be best achieved elsewhere.
The Cowboys were reported to be hopeful of keeping the popular forward, but with Jason Taumalolo owning the lock position at the club, fulfilling Asiata’s wishes proved too steep an ask.
Of the 10 appearances made by the 27-year-old this season, nine of them have come after starting on the bench.
According to The Courier Mail’s Peter Badel, the Tongan international has already received interest from a number of clubs.
Asiata has personally held talks with incoming Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett with the latter said to be a fan of the 127-gamers style and desperate to inject talent to avoid the spoon in 2021.
The versatile forward’s his management team have been in contact with fellow Sydney based clubs in the Eels and Dragons.
Said management team has also offered Asiata’s services to the Brisbane Broncos, but the Red Hill based club have placed recruitment talks on the back-burner until a permanent coach has been announced.
Jason Taumalolo, the man keeping Asiata from gaining more minutes, heaped praise on his premiership teammate.
“I am upset that Johnny won’t be playing beside me next year,” Taumalolo said.
“I thought we would play out our careers together.
“I have learned a lot from Johnny, especially in my early years in the NRL. He is extremely professional and sets high standards and encourages everyone to commit to the standards set for the team.
“John also goes out of his way to talk to the young players about their training and he shows the way in his own training and preparation.
“We will miss John‘s leadership on the field as well. He is a calm voice behind the goal line and a guy who always keeps a cool head.”
Asiata was linked with a move to the Gold Coast last month, but the Titans’ cap space has been already been consumed by the purchases of David Fifita, Hermen Ese’ese and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui.