Breaking: The talented Tigers player may be able to leave the squad at the end of 2024 according to a condition in his contract…

After the Wests Tigers publicly extended their offer to Stefano Utoikamanu, one of their standout players, he could end up being one of the team’s highest paid players.

NRL 2024: Wests Tigers offer $4 million deal to Stefano Utoikamanu

The top prop has apparently been in negotiations with the Tigers recently, and other teams have reportedly spoken with his management as well. The prop is off-contract at the end of the 2025 season, but he has a provision that would allow him to leave at the end of this year.

For those limitations to be waived, Utoikamanu would have to play two Origin games this season or the Tigers would have to finish in the top eight.

The Tigers, however, are not taking any chances and won’t wait until the conclusion of the season to lock down their star forward, who was inexplicably snubbed for Game 1 of this year’s series. They have heard that the forward is being pursued by other teams.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a $4 million, five-year deal has been presented to the star middle, although the Tigers might very well outspend the other teams monetarily.

The Penrith Panthers are rumoured to have been one of the teams interested in Utoikamanu.

Under the terms of the agreement, the prop would continue to work for the joint enterprise until at least the end of 2029, earning almost $800,000 year.

Currently, Payne Haas of the Brisbane Broncos and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui of the Gold Coast Titans are the highest-paid forwards in the league, earning a combined $1.2 million annually.

If Utoikamanu signs the new contract with the Tigers, only forwards like David Fifita, Addin Fonua-Blake, Harry Grant, James Fisher-Harris, Cameron Murray, Junior Paulo, Luciano Leilua, Jeremiah Nanai, and Haumole Olakau’atu will continue to be paid more.

The Tigers have a lot of money to work with, even after adding Jarome Luai to their roster for more than a million dollars per season starting in 2025 and taking on Apisai Koroisau’s lucrative contract. The team is currently reorganising during their first season under Benji Marshall.

The Tigers, for their part, are hoping for a response from Utoikamanu as soon as possible, so they can start making plans for 2025.

Though it’s anticipated he might wait until after Origin 2 selection, considering Concord’s lack of success, the forwards might be eager to look into his choices on the open market.

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