Oates gives up a fortune for Broncos
Corey Oates has sacrificed a staggering $1.5 million to remain in Brisbane after the Queensland ace inked a new deal in a major retention coup for the Broncos.
Oates' protracted 12-month contract saga is finally over with the hulking winger officially signing a one-year deal to remain at Red Hill in 2019.
The short-term contract will trigger fears Oates could join Wayne Bennett at Souths in 2020, with the Maroons flyer saying two months ago he would consider quitting the Broncos if the super coach was moved on.
But Bennett's power will not be enough to poach Oates, who has shown remarkable loyalty in his ambition to emulate Darren Lockyer, Sam Thaiday and Corey Parker by becoming a Bronco for life.
The Broncos were in danger of losing Oates after he fielded massive offers from Sydney-based NRL rivals, who tabled three-year, $2.1 million packages worth $700,000 a season.
But Oates has accepted a cut-price, $500,000 deal to stay at the Broncos with a view to eventually signing a longer-term mega deal that leverages his marketability in Brisbane as a Queensland Origin star.
The 24-year-old was keen to sign a multi-year deal immediately, but salary-cap pressures forced the Broncos to broker an abbreviated term.
Oates' re-signing was complicated by a personal dispute with his former management team, leaving the winger unable to begin negotiations until the final weeks of the 2018 NRL season.
His retention will come as a major relief for the Broncos, who were at loggerheads with Oates in February when the tryscoring machine revealed his desire to shift from the wing to the back row.
Former coach Bennett shot down that plan, telling Oates he had no desire to move him into the forwards and warned he could dump him to the Intrust Super Cup unless he remained on the wing.
It is understood Brisbane's Queensland rivals the Cowboys also expressed preliminary interest in Oates, but ultimately opted against tabling a formal offer.
Oates confirmed the deal and made it clear he wants a long-term future at the Broncos _ scuppering the prospect of playing under Bennett at Souths in 2020.
"I'm looking forward to continuing on with the Broncos," he said.
"It seems like yesterday I arrived but I'm now about to kick off my seventh NRL season.
"I'm happy to back myself for the next 12 months and secure a long-term Broncos contract.
"I wish Wayne all the best at Souths, but at the same time I am really excited for a fresh start with Anthony Seibold at the helm."
Oates has played 120 games for the Broncos and had a sensational 2018 campaign, scoring 18 tries from 23 matches and fighting his way back into the Queensland Origin team.
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