Titans ready to ship high rollers
The Gold Coast Titans prospects of climbing up the premiership ladder may rest with letting some of their highest paid players leave the club a year early.
The Titans have three long-term signing priorities - Jai Arrow, AJ Brimson and young prop Moeaki Fotuaika - but outside that trio, most of the remaining deals are negotiable.
Club culture boss Mal Meninga revealed last week the Titans only have $100,000 left in their salary cap, raising questions of how new coach Justin Holbrook can revive a team headed for the wooden spoon this season.
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But the club has $3.5 million tied up in cap money on 10 players whose contracts expire next year, and whose form has ranged from average, to poor, to non-existent through injury.
Among those players with one year left on their contracts are Kevin Proctor, Ryan James, Nathan Peats, Dale Copley and Tyrone Roberts.
One way the Titans have of refreshing their list is to allow these players to accept longer term deals with other clubs.
Instead of staying for one more year on the Coast, they may be able to secure a two-year deal at a rival club at this season's end.
State of Origin forward Jarrod Wallace has two years left on his contract and has been one of the club's most consistent players this year but it has been rumoured his future at the Titans will come under a stern focus over the closing weeks of the season.
Wallace admitted to The Courier-Mail recently that despite the fact he had a long-term deal, there was no guarantee his position was safe.
"The new coach coming in is going to be watching so we all, as players, have to make sure we are putting our hands up,'' Wallace said.
"Even with myself, I can't think 'I'm safe'. The new coach might not like me and want to move me on, so the whole squad is playing for their futures and it's important we have to impress the new coach in the coming weeks."
The Titans are working hard behind the scenes to improve the club's junior network and feeder systems but will not get due credit for their progress until their "shop window'' - the first grade team - starts winning.
With the future of million-dollar singing Ash Taylor clouded, the Titans desperately need a marquee player and a leader.