Andrew McCullough’s contract situation is a complicated one. Picture: Adam Head
Andrew McCullough’s contract situation is a complicated one. Picture: Adam Head

Broncos face huge contract issue with hooker

The Broncos have a $1 million dilemma on their hands with Andrew McCullough - and how they handle the Brisbane hooker will have major implications for their salary-cap position.

When the Broncos announced McCullough's retention in March, 2017, the club trumpeted a four-year upgrade which was to keep the courageous hooker at Red Hill until the end of 2021.

But it now emerges that McCullough's four-year contract is more complex than it appears.

His deal contains a two-year option in McCullough's favour. That means McCullough is technically off-contract this year - and the incumbent Queensland No.9 has the power to activate the final two years of his deal.

McCullough is on around $500,000-a-season at the Broncos and is currently sidelined with a knee injury, so the Maroons rake would have every incentive to seek security by taking up his two-year option.

The conundrum for the Broncos is the sudden competition for hooking spots. Jake Turpin has been a revelation filling in for McCullough, but he is also off-contract. At 22, he is seven years younger than McCullough.

Then there's new recruit James Segeyaro, who scored the match-winner in his Broncos debut last week. At 28, he is one year younger than McCullough.

There is speculation the club is prepared to offload McCullough to an NRL rival, something the Broncos have vigorously denied. But sooner rather than later, McCullough's future needs to be sorted out.