NSW Origin back-rower Angus Crichton is set to re-sign at the Roosters on a one-year deal after declining to test his value on the open market.
NRL.com understands that after several months of discussions around both long and short-term contract options, Crichton is favouring an extension until the end of 2022.
By his own admission the 25-year-old had a slow start to his career in red, white and blue after arriving from South Sydney in 2019, prompting suggestions his lucrative deal would not be extended beyond this year when it expires.
But a superb 2020 campaign where he regained his Blues jumper and was arguably the Roosters best forward will see Crichton shore up his future under Trent Robinson.
That form has had the off-contract star on the radar of several NRL rivals, but Crichton hasn't entertained leaving Moore Park, such is his enjoyment of life at the club he supported as a junior.
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It's believed the one-year deal is his preference due to the uncertainty around both the NRL salary cap and the Roosters roster in coming seasons.
A new pay deal agreed to with the RLPA in January will see the 2022 salary cap drop from a planned $9.7 million next year to $9.11 million.
The next collective bargaining agreement is due to begin a year after, with broadcast negotiations to dictate how much clubs can spend from 2023 onwards.
Given Crichton's background as a schoolboy rugby star, and the World Cup being scheduled in France in two years time, a one-year deal raises the prospect of a code switch with that in mind.
However, NRL.com understands that scenario has been given little thought by Crichton at this point.
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At the Roosters Boyd Cordner's future is also a consideration for the club and Crichton as he continues to manage his return from repeated concussions.
Crichton has performed strongly in his absence on the left edge this season.
While second-row is his preferred position, Crichton has been at pains to point out he is only keeping the spot warm for Cordner.
His impressive form in a middle role gives Robinson flexibility with his pack as Cordner is eventually eased through his three-month return to play schedule.
The Roosters skipper is also contracted until the end of 2023.
But due to the impact of recent head knocks he did confront the prospect of an early retirement in discussions with Robinson last year.
The Roosters are in the process of a gradual roster turnover after the success of recent years, with veteran hooker Jake Friend retiring last week following Mitch Aubusson's exit last season.
Boom 18-year-old half Sam Walker is set to begin talks around a long-term extension with the club in coming weeks.
The Roosters are determined to hang onto the playmaker they see leading them for the next decade, but both Walker and his father – former NRL half Ben – indicated their preference for him to get some game time under his belt this season before sorting out his future.
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