TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 24: Jordan McLean of the Cowboys is tackled by Mitchell Moses of the Eels during the round 24 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Parramatta Eels at 1300SMILES Stadium on August 24, 2018 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

North Queensland Cowboys coach Todd Payten remains confident that off-contract forward Jordan McLean will re-sign, extending his time with the club.

Set to play his 200th game against the Dolphins this weekend, McLean is reportedly set to extend his NRL career by signing a contract extension with the club, but nothing has yet to be made official.

The former eight-time Australian Kangaroo has played 20 games this season, averaging 114 metres per game and tackling at over 96 per cent. Extremely consistent in the forward pack, he adds depth to the Cowboys' roster and is a mentor to the younger forwards at the club.

Although the prop has, for the most part, struggled to replicate the form he displayed during the first part of his career at the Melbourne Storm, which turned him into an Australian representative, he still plays a role under Todd Payten and is likely to be re-signed on a cut-priced deal.

"I am optimistic," Payten said via theĀ AAP regarding if McLean would remain a Cowboy for next season.

"You can never say one hundred per cent certain but I know how settled he is and I know what he means to the club.

"We want to have him. Discussions are positive. It is going back and forth and we expect something to eventuate soon. Macca is our forward leader in the middle and really cares about the place."

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 16: Jordan McLean of the Melbourne Storm runs with the ball during the round three NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Brisbane Broncos at AAMI Park on March 16, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)