Former Origin and Test second-rower Wade Graham said a couple of other NRL clubs came calling before he decided to stay with the Sharks.
In light of all the Sharks have been through recently with financial strife and then head coach Shane Flanagan's possible deregistration, he was not going to walk out on Cronulla.
Loyalty and a settled private life were key factors in re-signing until the end of 2022.
"There was a bit of interest," Graham said in his first week back at training, following late-season surgery in 2018 with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
"I've been in rugby league circles for a long time, so I had a few chats with a few different people.
"But my priority was always Cronulla with the stage I'm at in my career – the relationships I've built at the club, in the community and within the playing group."
Graham re-signs until 2022
Graham, 28, arrived at Cronulla eight years ago from Penrith but has played all his representative football (four NSW Origins, six Tests) with the Sharks.
His strong edge-running and ball-playing skills make him not only an excellent back rower but also a top-shelf utility.
Considering he was one of the 12 players banned in late 2014 over the illegal peptides scandal of three years earlier, and that he struck up a strong relationship with Flanagan, Graham has been through a lot.
I want to make sure I'm part of making the club stay where it isSharks back-rower Wade Graham
"Obviously I've been with the club when it's been in some bad places and when it's been in the best place of all [2016 premiership]. There's been a lot of ups and downs but the belief I have in the club, and the belief in the playing group at the moment, that's the biggest reason I re-signed.
"I'm really confident that if we can put it together on the field we have the ability to contend [for a second title] over the next three to four years.
"We've got one of the most talented rosters in the competition. We've got a great core group of senior players who all have around 150 games and have played Origins, grand finals, and internationals. And we've got young guys coming through who have been part of our successful under 20s and reserve grade teams."
The retirement of 300-game veteran Paul Gallen at the end of this year is likely to result in Graham assuming captaincy of the club. Graham said the chance of leadership wasn't the reason behind his decision to stay.
"That really didn't play a part in it [re-signing] at all," Graham said. "I know that chat that's been with that but it's nothing new. It's been around the last four to five years.
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"The biggest thing is that I know how much effort I've put in being at the club, where we've been, where've got to and I want to make sure I'm part of making the club stay where it is," he added, in making sure the fans know he doesn't want the Sharks to relocate.
Graham is hoping to move onto a weightless treadmill in a couple of weeks as the precursor to returning to on-field running. He may end up missing It could be that he misses the NSW Blues campaign for a second year running due to injury.
"As long as I progress throughout the recovery stages, I should be back between round nine and 12. Whether there is enough football in there for Origin, I'll just have to wait and see," he said.
"To be fair Origin isn't a priority for me at the moment. It's just getting out there and playing again."
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