North Queensland fullback Lachlan Coote says he was very close to agreeing to a four-year Sydney Roosters deal but had no regrets about sacrificing a reported $1.8 million and re-signing with the Cowboys for another two NRL seasons.
“It was pretty tough knowing they were offering a four-year deal and it was just two years here,” Coote said.
“But I would have regretted more leaving here than turning those offers away.”
The Cowboys initially told Coote in February to look for another club but came back to the negotiation table, with the fullback’s form catching the eye of NSW State of Origin coach Laurie Daley.
In the meantime, Coote admitted he had been resigned to leaving the club.
“At the start of the year, I thought I might have to leave so I was just enjoying being with the boys – every away trip, I was enjoying every moment.
“I was very close (to signing with the Roosters).
“But as soon as the Cowboys came to the table, my head was always here.”
St George Illawarra and South Sydney were also reportedly chasing Coote with lucrative deals.
Coote said the chance to win another premiership with North Queensland and establishing a young family in Townsville prompted him to knock back big-money offers.
“They (young family) always wanted to stay up here and being a part of this team is a no-brainer – hopefully, we are around October time,” he said.
Prop James Tamou is reportedly the next target for the Cowboys, with the defending premiers earlier re-signing Johnathan Thurston, Michael Morgan and Jake Granville for the next few seasons.