Adam Reynolds and Corey Oates are reportedly taking pay cuts at the Broncos so the club can retain some of their young stars like Reece Walsh and Ezra Mam. According to News Corp, Reynolds is taking a cut to the $800,000 deal he was previously on, while Oates will be on significantly less money than in the past.
It means the club will be able to splash the cash in its attempts to re-sign the likes of Walsh and Mam, who are integral to the future prospects of the Broncos. The club is said to be working on a new deal for 21-year-old fullback Walsh that will see him become the NRL's newest million-dollar man.
FREE AGENT FRENZY: Every NRL player on the open market at Nov 1
Leading reporter Peter Badel said in September: “Their retention drive is in overdrive. Of course they’ve retained Payne Haas recently, they’re about to extend Adam Reynolds and now they are making moves to retain their wonder boys Ezra Mam and Reece Walsh.
"They’ve started talks with their dynamic duo Walsh and Mam to extend them beyond 2024. At the moment Reece Walsh, he’s off contract at the end of next year, as is Ezra Mam, but the Broncos insist the duo are going nowhere.
“They are looking to extend them on what I hear is a potential $5 million package deal, at least three years for each of those players. Reece Walsh would become a $1 million player potentially... and Ezra Mam could earn upwards of $700,000 a season. I’m told those deals will be done after the finals but I don’t think they will go on the open market.”
Walsh's deal for 2023 saw him pocket around $450,000, while Mam was reportedly on around $250,000. Both are looking at significant upgrades on their next contracts, meaning the Broncos will have to find the money from somewhere.
Got to admire Oatesy.
He’s only likely to get a run through injuries to others.
He would surely get a better deal elsewhere. Yes - not as good as he once was but he’s not useless.
— Ben (@orca_chaser) November 2, 2023
Wendell Sailor's concerns over big-money Broncos deals
Last month, club legend Wendell Sailor expressed his concerns about the big-money deals being handed out to Payne Haas and Patrick Carrigan, with Walsh and Mam to follow. "I like Ezra but look, that's big dollars," he said. "I was just talking a couple of months ago about paying Reece Walsh a million dollars.
"So if you're paying him a million dollars, you're paying Payne Haas a million dollars... you're top heavy, something's gotta go."
Journalist Phil Rothfield previously declared that Reynolds should consider retiring so the Broncos would have enough money to retain their young guns. “What Adam Reynolds showed me last night (in the NRL grand final), he’s looking for a contract extension, beyond next year for 2025,” he said.
“From what I saw last night I’d love to see him play next year and then pull up stumps. The Broncos can’t really afford to give him more because they have got to keep Reece Walsh and Ezra Mam."
The fact he's willing to take a pay cut shows how much gratitude Reynolds has for the Broncos after they took a chance on him when the Rabbitohs were unwilling to commit to him long-term. “I was at Souths my whole life and I knew nothing different, so it's not until you step out of an organisation and find another one that you realise what's on the other side,” Reynolds said last month.
“I thought South Sydney was it for me, but I’m grateful for the opportunity that I've been given by the club in Brisbane, and I’ve fallen deeply in love with the club. It’s a good love story.”
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.