Payne Haas and Adam Reynolds are building something special at the Broncos
Broncos skipper Adam Reynolds has made a bold call on the future of Payne Haas at the club, despite a bombshell release request and constant speculation.
Brisbane skipper Adam Reynolds has declared Payne Haas will not quit the Broncos, saying he is building an alliance with the superstar prop that can break the club’s 16-year premiership drought.
As the Broncos prepare for Saturday night’s derby against the Cowboys in Townsville, Reynolds is adamant Haas will keep faith in a Brisbane side emerging from the doldrums and ready to play finals football this season.
Haas dropped a bombshell on the Broncos six weeks ago when his management emailed Brisbane hierarchy seeking an immediate release from his $3 million deal - a request flatly rejected by Brisbane officialdom.
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Rocked by boos and abuse from Broncos fans, the Haas camp and Brisbane bosses moved to douse the potentially destabilising inferno by putting contract negotiations on hold until the end of this season.
But with the next contracting phase on November 1 looming, the Broncos must soon revisit the delicate saga with Haas, whose management believes the NSW Origin enforcer is worth up to $1.2 million on the open market.
Haas has made it clear the issue is not solely about money. He wants to play for a club that consistently challenges for finals and titles. Since his Broncos debut in 2018, Haas has played just one finals game - a 58-0 debacle against the Eels under former coach Anthony Seibold in 2019.
But with Brisbane charging towards their first finals campaign in three years, Reynolds believes Haas, the club’s three-time Paul Morgan Medallist, is about to enjoy the fruits of his hard labour at the Broncos.
“I don’t see Payne going anywhere else,” said Reynolds of Haas, who has underlined his bravery this season, playing with AC joint damage in both shoulders and a fresh ankle injury sustained in Origin II.
“He is Brisbane through and through.
“He has been at Brisbane since he was a young kid and he loves the club despite what’s been said in the media about him.
“Payne has shown his commitment to the club lately. If he wanted out, he wouldn’t be putting his hand up week in, week out, to continually turn up and put his body through the injuries.
“A lot of people sit there and slam him, but he deserves credit for showing up with his body banged up and playing good footy for us.
“Payne is one of the reasons why we are having a successful season.”
The 22-year-old is contracted to Brisbane until the end of 2024. While his management have agitated for a release, the Broncos can barely do more under the salary cap to reward the NRL’s No.1 prop.
From November 1, Haas will usurp Reynolds as Brisbane’s highest-paid player. Currently on $748,000, Haas’ salary next season will rise to $848,000, eclipsing marquee recruit Reynolds, whose three-year deal is worth $800,000 annually.
Having played for NSW and Australia, the final frontier for Haas is winning a premiership ring. When the Broncos next meet with his management in October, they will hope a 2022 finals campaign is evidence Brisbane can deliver the on-field success Haas is craving.
“Payne is a wonderful player and no doubt other clubs would be keen to sign him, but I’m still confident we can keep him here,” Broncos CEO Dave Donaghy said.
“I can’t question Payne’s commitment to the club when he continually wants to back up after Origin despite having some injuries.
“We’ve been able to retain guys like Herbie Farnworth and Selwyn Cobbo and I’d like to think we can keep Payne here for the long term.”
Reynolds is relishing the platform Haas is providing and the champion halfback says he is working on ways to add a passing and offloading dimension to Brisbane’s metre-eating machine.
“I have been having conversations with Payne, getting him to think differently and play differently,” the skipper said.
“It’s early into our relationship on the field and those things happen and evolve over time. He will get a bit smarter. He is not just a battering ram.
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“The boys in this club are passionate about the Broncos jumper. The culture I want to help build at this club is that we play for one another and it’s an honour to put the Broncos jumper on.
“I’m passionate about playing for the Broncos and I believe Payne is no different.”
Originally published as Payne Haas and Adam Reynolds are building something special at the Broncos