Open season! NRL’s free agent feeding frenzy
THE free agent feeding frenzy kicks off on Wednesday and South Sydney officials plan to move swiftly on retaining its cast of rising stars, headed by gun back-rower Angus Crichton.
The Rabbitohs have 14 players off-contract at the end of 2018, including some of the club's best young talent in Crichton.
On the back of a breakout season, the 21-year-old has attracted interest from rival clubs like the Roosters and Cronulla and has reportedly met with officials from both clubs.
Despite this, Souths general manager of football Shane Richardson has started talks to keep the Temora-born back-rower at Redfern beyond 2018.
Rabbitohs owner Russell Crowe has been entertaining Crichton in the US in a bid to convince him to stay.
"I think he (Angus) is in a good space at the club and we'll just take our time and we'll get to an outcome," Richardson told The Sunday Telegraph.
"We've opened discussions with his manager and Angus and they are both in a good head space.
Some of the NRL's biggest names, including Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston, Michael Morgan, Jarryd Hayne and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck are all coming off-contract.
Rival clubs are able to negotiate with players whose contracts expire at the end of next season from this Wednesday.
It shapes as one of the most competitive markets in recent seasons.
PLAYERS OFF-CONTRACT AT THE END OF 2018
10 players off contract: Jamayne Isaako, Patrick Mago, David Mead, Corey Oates, Tom Opacic, Moses Pangai, Tevita Pangai, Korbin Sims, Jaydn Su'a, Sam Thaiday.
17 players off contract: Blake Austin, Kurt Baptiste, Luke Bateman, Shannon Boyd, Adam Clydsdale, Nick Cotric, Bill Cullen, Masivesi Dakuwaqa, Charlie Gubb, Josh Hodgson, Dunamis Lui, Michael Oldfield, Josh Papalii, Junior Paulo, Clay Priest, Aidan Sezer, Iosia Soliola.
12 players off contract: Brad Abbey, Tom Carr, Josh Cleeland, Greg Eastwood, Asipeli Fine, Matt Frawley, Brenko Lee, Lachlan Lewis, Rhyse Martin, Brett Morris, Josh Morris, Zac Woolford.
9 players off contract: Jayson Bukuya, Kurt Dillon, Paul Gallen, Edrick Lee, Ricky Leutele, Luke Lewis, James Maloney, Joseph Paulo, James Segeyaro.
GOLD COAST TITANS
10 players off contract: Dale Copley, Anthony Don, Kane Elgey, Brendan Elliot, Jarryd Hayne, Keegan Hipgrave, John Olive, Agnatius Paasi, Phillip Sami, Dan Sarginson.
MANLY SEA EAGLES
13 players off contract: Lewis Brown, Cameron Cullen, Jack Gosiewski, Blake Green, Jackson Hastings, Brian Kelly, Apisai Koroisau, Shaun Lane, Darcy Lussick, Curtis Sironen, Akuila Uate, Jonathan Wright, Tom Wright.
22 players off contract: Sandor Earl, Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, Sale Finau, Louis Geraghty, Tim Glasby, Harry Grant, Ryan Hoffman, Ryley Jacks, Cooper Johns, Tui Kamikamica, Felise Kaufusi, Vincent Leuluai, Kayleb Milne, Justin Olam, Junior Ratuvu, Curtis Scott, Billy Slater, Cameron Smith, Shem Tatupu, Lachlan Timms, Young Tonumaipea, Billy Walters.
NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
12 players off contract: Manaia Cherrington, Sam Lisone, Matiu Love-Henry, Issac Luke, Simon Mannering, Ken Maumalo, Junior Pauga, Nathaniel Roache, Zac Santo, Patrick Sipley, Jazz Tevaga, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
17 players off contract: Jamie Buhrer, Jack Cogger, Cory Denniss, Chris Heighington, Trent Hodkinson, Tom Hughes, Josh King, Brock Lamb, Chanel Mata'utia, Pat Mata'utia, Sione Mata'utia, Nick Meaney, Dylan Phythian, Ken Sio, Tom Starling, Sam Stone, Luke Yates.
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
18 players off contract: Javid Bowen, Josh Chudleigh, Lachlan Coote, Shaun Fensom, Jake Granville, Sam Hoare, Shaun Hudson, Marcus Jensen, Kyle Laybutt, Kane Linnett, Ethan Lowe, Francis Molo, Michael Morgan, Justin O'Neill, Emry Pere, Johnathan Thurston, Antonio Winterstein, Shane Wright.
14 players off contract: Daniel Alvaro, Kirisome Auva'a, Nathan Brown, Nathan Davis, David Gower, George Jennings, Cameron King, Suaia Matagi, Jack Morris, Kaysa Pritchard, Beau Scott, Will Smith, Peni Terepo, Siosaia Vave.
8 players off contract: Oliver Clark, Dylan Edwards, Viliame Kikau, Soni Luke, Josh Mansour, Tyrone May, Mitch Rein, Peter Wallace.
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
14 players off contract: George Burgess, Sam Burgess, Thomas Burgess, Braidon Burns, Jason Clark, Angus Crichton, Adam Doueihi, Robbie Farah, Tyrell Fuimaono, Hymel Hunt, Robert Jennings, Mark Nicholls, John Sutton, Connor Tracey.
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
12 players off contract: Leeson Ah Mau, Matt Dufty, Reuben Garrick, Patrick Herbert, Josh Kerr, Jeremy Latimore, Luciano Leilua, Cameron McInnes, Jason Nightingale, Jordan Pereira, Hame Sele, Joel Thompson.
13 players off contract: Boyd Cordner, Mitch Cornish, Blake Ferguson, Jake Friend, Michael Gordon, Brock Gray, Luke Keary, Isaac Liu, Joseph Manu, Jayden Nikorima, Chris Smith, Zane Tetevano, Eloni Vunakece.
7 players off contract: JJ Felise, Tim Grant, Benji Marshall, Esan Marsters, Kevin Naiqama, Sauaso Sue, Malakai Watene-Zelezniak.