South Sydney Rabbitohs have moved to avoid another Adam Reynolds contract standoff with reports they are in the process of locking in Damien Cook on a long-term deal.
Halfback and club junior Reynolds left Redfern at the end of last season after Souths only offered him a one-year extension. The club’s stance angered fans, a mood that has only worsened as Reynolds steered the Broncos back into the top eight while Souths have endured an inconsistent start to the season.
Stream every game of every round of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership Season Live & Ad-Break Free During Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-days free now.
MORE NRL NEWS
MID-SEASON SIGNINGS: Who your club could sign before the August 1 deadline
Cook is off contract at the end of 2023. The rise of Rabbitohs young gun Peter Mamouzelos and Cook’s demotion from Blues starting Origin No.9 has cast doubt over his long-term playing future.
The Daily Telegraph’s David Riccio, however, said negotiations with Cook got underway this week.
“We know it’s Origin period and rep round, but in the background, it never sleeps, the negotiations and roster management of clubs,” Riccio told SEN 1170 Breakfast.
“That’s certainly the case among a number of clubs, let’s start with South Sydney and the big one is Damien Cook.
“Now that’s interesting because we’re seeing discussions whether Damien Cook is declining in the rep arena as far as being a starting hooker is concerned.
“But at South Sydney, they definitely want to keep him long-term.”
Riccio revealed Souths want Cook signed until at least the end of 2025.
“So here we are in 2022, so far at least another three seasons,” he said.
“That takes him through until 34, that’s a significant investment by Souths. The catch there will be will Souths and Cook agree on financial terms,
“It’s all well and good to say they want to offer him a new deal, but will it be at Damien Cook’s asking price?”.
It comes after former Rabbitoh Damien Cook pleaded with South Sydney to lock Cook down.
“They can’t make the same mistake,” Marshall told Triple M in reference to Adam Reynolds.
“I think they’ve got to sign him (Cook).
“He’s an Origin player, played for Australia.”
Marshall said Mamouzelos’s development would only be accelerated by having Cook around.
“There’s time, Pete’s got time, he’s still developing,” Marshall said.
“Cooky’s been there and done it and in the big games he stands up.”
“(Mamouzelos) is a good kid but you’ve got to buy your time,” Marshall stated.
“Look at what Harry Grant had to do behind Cameron Smith, they’re still there going great now.
“We all get so obsessed with all the up and coming players who haven’t done anything yet and blocking this and blocking that.