Payne Haas requests immediate release from Broncos
Payne Haas on Wednesday night requested an immediate release from the Brisbane Broncos.
The Herald understands the Broncos denied the request for a release from his contract, which expires at the end of 2024.
Haas was at training on Thursday morning but it is unclear whether he will play against the Gold Coast Titans on Friday night.
Sources with knowledge of negotiations told the Herald the request for a release came after a breakdown in contract negotiations with Broncos powerbrokers.
The news comes on the same day Haas’s younger brother Klese secured his own future with the Titans on a two-year deal from next season.
The Dolphins are on the lookout for a marquee signing, however coach Wayne Bennett said he was completely unaware of the request for a release when contacted.
The Herald has been told that Haas doesn’t have a club lined up but there are a number of clubs interested in his services.
A source within the Haas camp said: “We haven’t thought about other clubs. Let’s be frank, the other 16 clubs would want him.”
It comes after a dispute with his long-time management company, Pacific Sports Management.
The drama comes on the eve of the State of Origin series with Haas again expected to play a key role for NSW. Blues coach Brad Fittler has long held a policy that he doesn’t want contract negotiations to interfere with his team’s Origin campaign.
Haas is the centrepiece of the Blues pack and is considered vital to their chances of reclaiming the series.
According to court documents, which have laid bare the feud between the State of Origin representative and one of the game’s most powerful agents Chris Orr, Haas recently baulked at signing a near $6 million Broncos contract that would have been the richest in NRL history for a prop forward.
Haas, who has launched civil action against Chris Orr and Original Pro Sports Pty Ltd, which trades as Pacific Sports Management, is now facing a counter claim from the player manager for unpaid commission fees of $201,200 in the NSW Supreme Court.
Orr claims that he negotiated a $5.75 million contract with the Broncos that would have made Haas one of the NRL’s richest earners, only for the player to refuse to sign the deal in July last year.
The three-time Paul Morgan Medallist as Brisbane’s player of the year is tied to the Broncos on a contract until the end of 2024, but his proposed new deal would have been an upgrade and extension on his current $3.39 million agreement. Orr banked $237,300 as an agent fee for brokering that deal.
Court documents allege Haas is earning $748,000 this season before his salary increases to $798,000 in 2023 and $848,000 the next year.
But while Haas claims Orr “breached his fiduciary duty” by engaging the player and his father Gregor to sign previous agent agreements, the player manager has hit back with a claim of his own.