Best to take up Knights deal that will make him one of game’s highest-paid centres | The Sporting Base

Best to take up Knights deal that will make him one of game’s highest-paid centres

January 10, 2024

Best to take up Knights deal that will make him one of game’s highest-paid centres

Young gun Bradman Best is being tipped to sign a new deal with the Newcastle Knights by the end of this week, with the rich extension slated to make him one of the highest-paid centres to ever play the game.

The 22-year-old, who hit another level in 2023 and formed a deadly partnership with Kalyn Ponga during the club’s nine-game winning streak, will now earn around $700,000 a year to play in the red and blue. The Central Coast youngster’s extension will see him stay playing for his junior club until at least 2027, if not longer.

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It’s an excellent retention for the Knights, even if it is high coin for a centre, with Best clocking up 13 tries in 25 games in his latest campaign. He also set up 16 more, made 56 tackle breaks, and ran for around 130 metres across his quarter-century of appearances.

Best was earning around $500,000 per year before he took this upgrade.

A host of clubs were interested in Best’s future as the end of his contract loomed in November 2024, with that interest only bubbling into more open approaches after he made his State of Origin debut for New South Wales in the 2023 series. While there were several suitors that Best and his management spoke to, there has been an air around the story for some time; the 22-year-old was not overly interested in leaving Newcastle and the project the Knights have been building.

What’s interesting about the saga is although the new Knights deal is mega money for a centre, Best could have actually earned even more should he have agreed to join the Wests Tigers.

Benji Marshall and the Tigers tabled an $800,000-a-year contract, which he turned down.

This re-signing means Best joins Kalyn Ponga and Jacob Safiti on deals that run to 2027. Other stars, including Daniel Saifiti and Greg Marzhew, are signed through to the year before.

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