Playmaker turns his back on huge money from Penrith and New Zealand.
Todd Carney has shown faith in the Cronulla Sharks by sticking with the club through to 2018 thus turning down much bigger offers by rivals NRL clubs.
At the 11th hour the Sharks five-eighth promised to ink a new deal with Cronulla, despite big money being offered to him by the Penrith Panthers and the New Zealand Warriors.
Penrith were desperate to have the Blues half partner the newly-recruited Jamie Soward as a part of their rebuilding plan.
However, Panthers boss Phil Gould lost his man when Carney signaled he would stay in the Shire for the next five years in a huge boost for the Sharks who were still burdened by the ASADA drugs scandal.
Carney’s final contract with the Sharks per season still makes him one of the highest paid players in the game, however, it is understood the Warriors were ready to offer more than $1 million a season to lure him across the Tasman.
Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan did fear the size of the offers in front of Carney would be too loud for him to hear his proposal of keeping the current side together.
“I was concerned, because the other offers were huge,” Flanagan said.
“When you’ve got someone like Phil Gould – he can be very persuasive.
“I knew the Panthers had made Johnathan Thurston a big offer and I was worried that a lot of that money was going toward Todd.
“The ASADA investigation really set us back because we had to just put everything on hold,” Flanagan said.
“But at no stage did Todd worry about that.
“His main concern was the big money on offer elsewhere, but this contract was about a lot of other things than money.
“If he was really thinking about leaving, I’m sure he would have done so.”