Get excited Broncos fans!: Playmaker closes in on move
Ah Queensland, beautiful one day … and the perfect place for a cheeky little halfback from Redfern to finish his NRL career on a big juicy salary for the next four years.
And right now that is exactly how it is looking it will pan out for Adam Reynolds, with the odds firming by the day that the South Sydney skipper will take up a lucrative deal at Brisbane and turn down the chance to follow Craig Fitzgibbon to Cronulla.
It is understood the lure of eventually settling with his young family in south east Queensland in life beyond football could ultimately be as big an incentive as the lucrative financial rewards on offer at the Broncos.
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This comes as Wayne Bennett was forced to shoot down speculation that Souths were negotiating a new deal with star five-eighth Cody Walker and that was part of the reason why the club couldn't make a new offer to Reynolds.
Bennett went straight on the front foot when contacted about the rumours on Monday, that Walker's decision to pull out of a scheduled media call may have been because he felt uncomfortable given the Reynolds' situation.
Bennett was adamant: "I am saying that the club is not in negotiations with Cody Walker as his contract does not expire until the end of 2022.
"The club value him highly and those negotiations will take place in 2022."
But he said it had nothing to do with Reynolds' current predicament.
"Adam Reynolds is a done deal," Bennett fired.
"He will be leaving the club. Everybody knows that, and we are all handling that with respect and we have all moved on from there.
"It has nothing to do with Adam Reynolds."
While Bennett isn't involved in Reynolds' ongoing negotiations given he is stepping aside at the end of the season to make way for Jason Demetriou, the last thing he needs now is another drama leading into Magic Round after the hiding the Rabbitohs copped off Melbourne.
The Broncos are said to be prepared to offer the 30-year-old playmaker a four-year deal with a reported $2.8 million.
This comes as Reynolds also firms as a strong chance to return from his painful thumb injury when the Rabbitohs take on the Sharks at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.
No doubt Reynolds would love to play in this one given he will be up against one of the clubs that is chasing him for next season, at the home ground of the other rival that is believed to be his destination of choice.
Reynolds will be named in the team on Tuesday and his availability will ultimately come down to whether Reynolds thinks he can play through the pain.
New Brisbane chief executive Dave Donaghy has been in constant dialogue with Souths and the Rabbitohs have spoken glowingly of Reynolds as a person and as a footballer.
Souths maintain there is absolutely no issue other than the fact they just can't afford to offer Reynolds anything longer than a one-year deal at this point because of their salary cap strain.
But Bennett's admission that Reynolds will be moving on puts to bed any speculation that Souths may have been budging on their stance.
There were some suggestions over the weekend in the wake of the 50-0 smashing from Melbourne that the Rabbitohs might have a rethink and try and find a way to keep their skipper.
While the Rabbitohs were missing as many as six of the regular top squad, the lack of direction due to Reynolds' absence was a massive concern.
Make no mistake, the Rabbitohs have had long talks with Reynolds and made it abundantly clear that they want him to follow the path of fellow club legend John Sutton by remaining heavily involved in developing the next generation of young stars beyond his own playing career.
But understandably Reynolds wants to do the best by his wife and children at this point of his life.
What this all means for Souths going forward is that at this point they will be banking on either young Lachlan Ilias or Blake Taaffe to be wearing the No 7 jumper next year.
Dean Hawkins, the young halfback that filled in for Reynolds in the loss to Melbourne, is also off contract at the end of this season.
Ilias is seen as the most likely to take over the halfback role due to the similarities between his game and that of Reynolds.
While Taaffe is viewed more as a future fullback, his speed and agility mixed with his outstanding football instinct makes him the type of player who could make a fist of whatever position he plays.
Taaffe hasn't played since the Charity Shield when he put in a super impressive performance before suffering a syndesmosis ankle injury.
It is expected he will crack his official NRL debut during the Origin period.
Souths have also not yet signed Dane Gagai and Jaydn Su'a for next year, but can't progress on those talks until the Reynolds situation is officially finalised.
Out of respect, Souths have made a commitment not to withdraw their offer until Reynolds makes his final decision.
Originally published as Get excited Broncos fans!: Playmaker closes in on move