While Sam will attempt to build out his first-season roster at the Wolves to his own specifications, it's understood his brother is at the top of his hit list.
News Corp is reporting that, despite the fact Thomas is on contract until at least the end of the 2024 season with the Redfern-based outfit, the Rabbitohs may not stand in his way if he is able to sign a long-term deal to close his career back in England.
That may yet not happen though, with the report also stating that Sam is reluctant to talk to Thomas given he is still contracted at Redfern.
The move may be more likely to occur in 2025 when Thomas is next officially off-contract.
However, it's little surprise that reports suggest the Rabbitohs would entertain the idea of moving Thomas on for the 2024 campaign if he was to sign a long-term deal elsewhere that means the Redfern-based club could break away from his salary.
Burgess has already agreed to a significant pay cut on his one-year deal to remain at Redfern next year, with the 31-year-old likely to earn somewhere around the $400,000 mark for 2024.
The Rabbitohs though have a stretched salary cap. Big-money, long-term deals for Damien Cook, Latrell Mitchell, Cody Walker, Cameron Murray, Campbell Graham and Tevita Tatola will have stretched the club significantly.
With pressure also on in an attempt to re-sign Jai Arrow and Keaon Koloamatangi - the latter of whom will be in for a significant upgrade on his next deal when his current one expires at the end of 2024 - it means every cent will count for something at the Rabbitohs.
While the club likely would be short a forward without Burgess, the fact they could forward pay some contracts while signing another player on an NRL minimum value deal could appeal to the club, while the thought of increased roles and responsibilities for fringe players like Davvy Moale and Shaquai Mitchell could also appeal from a long-term development point of view.
That said, Burgess has been one of their most consistent forwards in recent times, and his re-signing earlier this year was a show of faith that he could do that at an elite level for at least another 12 months.