Now, Burton is on the cusp of a touted $3 million extension to remain at Belmore, but not before he wins a World Cup representing Australia, that is.
Burton spent the opening two rounds of 2021 playing five-eighth in reserve grade while Jarome Luai and Nathan Cleary dominated the NRL, a Round 3 call-up in the halves after Cleary was ruled out with concussion propelling him into first-grade.
Shifting to the centres the next week, Burton wouldn't miss another game in 2021 as he played a massive role in Penrith's first title in 18 years.
As he prepares to fly to England for his maiden World Cup, the five-eighth is nearing a decent pay bump for his current $500,000 per season deal, Canterbury reportedly tabling a four-year deal exceeding the $3 million marl.
It's a stunning turnaround after Trent Barrett's departure left Burton happy to test his value on November 1st, though it's believed the signature of Cameron Ciraldo was the icing on the cake that convinced the Dubbo product to remain in Belmore.
While Burton's focus is solely on the World Cup as it stands, he's confident a new deal with the Bulldogs isn't far off.
“I haven't spoken too much about [Canterbury's offer] but I'm pretty sure, based on what I have heard, that we'll get something done,” Burton told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“The World Cup makes it a bit hard to have those conversations, so I'm happy to go enjoy the tour and leave it for the moment. I'll come back and we'll get it all sorted it.”
Asked if he saw himself in Canterbury colours for the long term, Burton said: “Definitely. I can see it getting done, that's what I want. But we'll get it sorted after the World Cup.”
It's already been a massive season for Burton, who finally played a full NRL season in his own position, as well as making his New South Wales debut in the centres while Latrell Mitchell was sidelined.
Now, he's set to partner him in the green-and-gold three-quarter line.
Both of the five-eighth's parents were on hand when their son received the Kangaroos call-up.