While the Panthers are focused on Sunday’s huge grand final against the Eels, contract decisions are looming for a number of big-name stars.
Stephen Crichton, Liam Martin, Spencer Leniu, Brian To’o and Scott Sorensen can all negotiate with rival clubs come November 1 — however, utility Mitch Kenny is confident the group will remain at the foot of the mountain.
Kenny believes his teammates recognise what it means to be a Panthers player, and off the back of three years of success, won’t be “rushing away”.
Stream every game of every round of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership Season Live & Ad-Break Free During Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
“The club is in a position now, where guys recognise what we have here and want to stay together,” Kenny said to foxsports.com.au.
“It speaks to how tight-knit the group is as well, a lot of these local guys, who probably want to repay the club as well for developing them and making them the first graders they are today.
“It would take a bit for a lot of these guys to leave because they are the players they are because of the teammates they have and the coaches they have.
“They don’t want to be rushing away from here and it is a great culture, and everyone wants to be a part of it for as long as they can.”
Up to five clubs are reportedly set to battle for Origin gun Liam Martin’s signature after the 25-year-old knocked back the Panthers’ offer in August.
Meanwhile, Stephen Crichton has been linked with a move to the Bulldogs to play fullback under Penrith’s current assistant Cameron Ciraldo.
Winger Brian To’o could also command upwards of $500,000 on the open market being one of the NRL’s elite wingers.
There will be no shortage of suitors for the Blues outside back — and the Bulldogs have been touted as a potential destination with a war chest ready to offer lucrative deals.
Sorensen, who has enjoyed the best years of his career at the foot of the mountain, said the club is a “very special place to be”.
“The culture, it is a very special place to be,” Sorensen said to foxsports.com.au.
MORE NRL NEWS
CUT-THROAT: Why Brad Arthur should make the hardest call of all and drop his son
‘GET RID OF THEM’: Calls for Penrith trainers to be banned for GF amid ‘form’
FAST LANE: Inside Parra hero’s transformation as Eels’ waiting game pays off
SHOCK TWIST: Trainer saga turns as Panthers claim audio proves what was really said
WHISPERS: Tigers’ dream halves duo as Munster call looms, Lane set to impact Eel
“It is a special time and just being present right now, those things will sort themselves out.”
Fox League’s Cooper Cronk echoed Kenny’s opinion, explaining the Panthers’ ridiculous winning record should see the off-contract players remain — even if it means taking a pay cut.
“Everyone has individual circumstances right, but it is up to those to decide what they want to do,” Cronk said to foxsports.com.au.
“But 66 wins in the last 77 games over the last three years, I’d take that over any zero on a contract, that is ultimately why you play the game.
“But you also want to be well remunerated for what you do and set your family up for life.
“But that is an individual decision, some people will stay for unders, some leave but no one is ever going to say here is a million bucks for being a nice guy.”
Get all the latest NRL news, highlights and analysis delivered straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Sign up now!!