Raiders grand final star Jack Wighton has rejected a contract extension option, meaning that he is on the open market from November 1.
Wighton, the Clive Churchill Medallist as Canberra lost the NRL decider to Sydney Roosters, had an option to extend his deal into 2021.
The Sunday Telegraph revealed that Wighton would not take up that option, worth $750,000.
The five-eighth, who was a State of Origin star this year and then selected for the Kangaroos, will be hot property on the player market and could boost his earnings. Staying at Canberra appears to be his preference, meaning he will be seeking a rich, long-term deal to remain with the Green Machine. © GettyJack Wighton (R) after scoring a try in the grand final.
"This isn't to say he wants to leave the Raiders," manager Matt Rose told The Sunday Telegraph. "But a lot has happened in his career this year and he's decided against taking up an option in his favour.
"When he signed the original contract, he wasn't playing for NSW or Australia and he hadn't won the Clive Churchill Medal on grand final day.
"I'm not doing my job as his manager unless we can check the market." © GettyRaiders star Jack Wighton ahead of the NRL grand final.
Rose predicted major interest in Wighton but said that the Raiders would get the final word in negotiations.
"There won't be a club that won't want to talk to Jack Wighton based on the season that he's had. You'll see across the competition that there is absolutely no other player that's been able to go into those three positions and play at that level for a very long time," Rose told Macquarie Sports Radio on Sunday.
"We're very confident where we're Jack is as player and now it's up to what's best for Jack and his family.
"The Raiders will always get the last shot based on the relationship he has there. He loves Ricky Stuart and he's been able to develop such a good relationship, not only with the coach but also he's brought the team along with him.
"He's one of the leaders of the club and they look to him to spark all their attack. It's obviously a big decision, but we'll maintain that relationship all the way through and hopefully everyone comes out well in the end."