Believing he’s still worth a whole lot more, Benji Marshall has laughed off St George Illawarra’s offer of a $300,000 contract extension.
The one-time world player of the year is a free agent at the end of the 2016 season but is keen to remain in the NRL for at least a 13th campaign.
But he has no plans on staying put at the Dragons if $300,000 is all they can stump up.
“I think what I’ve got to offer this year is going to be more than that and off the field adds to that probably as well,” Marshall told NRL 360 on Fox Sports.
“So that’s probably not a good figure … I had a bit of a chuckle (when I heard that).”
Marshall finished equal runner-up in last year’s Dally M Medal count with Cronulla hooker Michael Ennis last year – behind only Johnathan Thurston – and is backing himself to continue delivering the goods for the Dragons in 2016.
He says it’s not concerning at all to have his contract negotiations at a standstill.
“It’s not. I want my footy to do the talking and then to say ‘yeah, look, this is what I’m worth’,” Marshall said.
“I’m waiting til round five.”
Ennis believes Marshall has every right to expect an offer around double what the Dragons have reportedly tabled to the 31-year-old, who was again one of his side’s best in Monday night’s season-opening 18-16 loss to Melbourne.
“I think the market for a half is somewhere between 500 and 750 (thousand),” Ennis said on the same program.
“Benji is someone who still has that much to offer the game that he definitely will command something like that.
“In all honesty, with his value to a side and the way that he’s playing – not just ‘cos he’s sitting there and we’re mates – the form that he showed definitely last year and the way he played last night.”
Marshall thoroughly agrees and says he’s happy to sign year-to-year deals, even while not placing a limit on how much longer he hopes to play on for.
“One at a time’s fine,” he said.
“I think I’ve got more than one left in me. I still think I’ve got a lot to offer on the field but a lot to offer off the field too.”