Cameron Smith Expected To Field Offers Well Over $1 Million Per Season

With the Brisbane Broncos being urged by every man and his dog to chase Cameron Smith, and Smith looking to lock up what he expects to be the last big deal of his career, the consensus is that Smith will become one of the highest paid players in the game when he signs off on his next contract.

With the NRL looking to bring in a marquee player payment system, Smith will finsh himself at the center of a bidding war between a number of clubs looking to add one of the games great winners to their roster. This is expected to push Smith’s asking price through the roof and could see him earning upwards of $1.5 million per season.

Smith is still contracted to the Melbourne Storm through to the end of 2014. At 30 years of age, Smith is by far and away the best hooker in the game. He is arguably the best player in Rugby League, although I tend to think that title belongs to Greg Inglis.

Signing a player over the age of 30 to a contract that big is going to be a risk. I wrote about the risks involved in signing Johnathan Thurston to such a huge deal earlier this season. While Smith is a great player, one of the very best in the game, teams will have to factor in that his playing ability is likely to start to diminish in the next few seasons. No player has ever defeated father time.

Hookers tend to fall off a cliff in terms of the end of their career and their ability to remain as an effective player on a team. The wear and tear that a hooker goes through over the course of their career simply ends up taking its toll. While Danny Buderus is still an NRL player at the age of 35, he is a shadow of the player he once was. He has struggled with injury this season and is simply not effective for the Newcastle Knights at all.

The Melbourne Storm are currently negotiating with Smith in the hope that he will finish out his career with the club. It wouldn’t shock me though if they were not willing to go all out and match any offer Smith got elsewhere.

The Storm have shown a remarkable ability to develop star players. When key players have left the club, the Storm have always managed to bring in some youngster that has played out of their skin. Remember, Smith was once some unknown kid that has the task of replacing Richard Swain…that turned out pretty good!

I hope Cameron Smith retires as a one club player. It will be very interesting to see how this all pans out though. If the Broncos really want Smith, it is almost going to be impossible for any other team to match the offer they can make. With sponsors in Brisbane lines up, and the possibility that a marquee player payment system would allow the Broncos to finally flex their financial muscle, it just comes down to how much they are willing to offer a player that will be looking to earn big money heading into his mid 30’s.

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