‘Get real’: NRL star isn’t worth big bucks
Brisbane star Tevita Pangai Jnr is off-contract at the end of the season and a bidding war for his services is no doubt sure to kick off.
The Broncos want to retain the powerhouse forward, but if his asking price skyrockets, they're prepared to bid him farewell.
The 23-year-old backed his talents when he signed a one-year extension at the end of 2018, so he'll be out to prove he's worth potential big money offers that could reach as much as $1 million per season - the same deal Jason Taumalolo is earning at North Queensland.
"That price tag's too much," Broncos legend Gorden Tallis told Queenslanders Only on Fox League.
"Let's get real. If Taumalolo is the million-dollar forward, that's what you gauge it on.
"You don't pay on potential. If you pay on potential you're going to get hurt.
"We're sort of watching it with Nathan Cleary. All this potential. It's a lot of pressure. If you go there on a million dollars, you're going to get hammered. It's as simple as that.
"If you go (to Sydney) and you're playing and you're earning your stripes and become a million dollar player … he didn't want to talk to the media this week after having one (bad) game.
"If you come down and you get a million dollars, there's territory that goes with being the marquee player.
"(Anthony) Milford gets hammered every week, everyone gets hammered if you're the marquee player."
It's evident Pangai still has a way to go in becoming a consistent NRL forward - his performance against the Cowboys in Round 2 was incredible, before he made a number of crucial errors against St George Illawarra the following week.
But one club who could have $1 million to splash on a marquee player are the Sydney Roosters who have already been linked to Pangai.
It's likely Cooper Cronk will hang up the boots at the end of the season which will free up a large chunk of their salary cap.
"It depends on what he wants to do," said Justin Hodges, who played for both the Broncos and Roosters.
"If he wants to go to the Roosters for the money, well, he has to go.
"If he wants to play Origin football and he wants to play in big moments, he's better off staying at Brisbane.
"But if he wants to go to North Bondi and drink the lattes and live a happy life then obviously he'll go to the Roosters.
"There's so many wonderfully talented players at the Broncos so there's no way they're going to pay a million dollars for a frontrower or backrower."
Fellow former Broncos forward Corey Parker said Pangai Jnr would leave a hole if he were to depart, but backed the likes of Payne Haas, David Fifita, Jaydn Su'A and Matt Lodge to carry the side forward.
NRL.com reported on Tuesday that Lodge had been trying to entice the Tongan international to stay at the Broncos.
"He's 23 years old," Parker said of Pangai Jnr.
"He's got a hell of a future ahead of him in terms of the game.
"(The Roosters) obviously see him as a potential to be a big inclusion in their pack. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves isn't getting any younger, they've got a couple of ageing players.
"Uncle Nick doesn't miss out."