NRL GF Media Op
NRL GF Media Op

Politis’ warning: Teddy and Keary not for sale

Powerful Sydney Roosters chairman Nick Politis has warned cashed-up NRL rivals that superstars Luke Keary and James Tedesco are not for sale.

"They are both going to stay and we will be extending them before the end of the year," Politis said, as the futures of the two premiership-winning champions starts to generate some genuine interest.

Both Keary and Tedesco come off contract at the end of next season, which means if they are not locked down by November they can sign with a rival club.

And in the countdown to Friday night's clash against St George Illawarra, Keary made headlines in the Brisbane media this week with talk he is exactly the type of player the Broncos should be chasing to replace their struggling $1 million man Anthony Milford.

Right now Keary is estimated to be on about $850,000, which wouldn't rank him among the NRL's top-10 paid playmakers.

Tedesco is also hot property given the reigning Dally M Medal champion, and by his own admission is getting better under the new rule interpretations this year.

What makes both players even more valuable is that Tedesco is still only 27 and Keary 28, which is traditionally the age where footy players approach their peak years.

Politis has warned rival clubs to stay away from star players Teddy and Keary. Picture: Brett Costello
Politis has warned rival clubs to stay away from star players Teddy and Keary. Picture: Brett Costello

Along with Brisbane, clubs like Canterbury, who have a reported $3 million to spend, St George Illawarra and Wests Tigers are all desperate to regenerate their underperforming rosters.

There is also talk there could be another Brisbane team in the competition by 2022, and Keary was born in Ipswich where he spent his early years.

But Politis said it won't even get to that stage where other clubs will get a look in.

Politis said he had already started preliminary talks with their management to get the ball rolling.

He added: "They are quiet happy at the club."

Keary's manager Paul Sutton added Keary wanted to stay: "We're looking forward to opening up talks with the Roosters in the near future."

One of the biggest advantages the Roosters will have is that Keary and Tedesco have really advanced their careers under Trent Robinson.

You could argue Tedesco would have been a good player at the Tigers but he wasn't in the same stratosphere to where he is now after winning back-to-back titles.

Keary's rise is also another great example of how the Roosters' system can benefit a player.

Keary's career was at the crossroads when he was basically shown the door at Souths after his infamous run-in with Russell Crowe, so he signed with the Roosters initially for about $500,000.

Sydney Roosters Chairman Nick Politis has helped turn the club into a powerhouse hunting their third straight premiership. Picture: Brett Costello
Sydney Roosters Chairman Nick Politis has helped turn the club into a powerhouse hunting their third straight premiership. Picture: Brett Costello

While that's been bumped up significantly, his pay packet is still well short of the top earners despite him being a three-time premiership winner.

The current list of $1m-plus playmakers includes Daly Cherry-Evans, Michael Morgan, Cameron Munster, Milford, Ash Taylor, Nathan Cleary, Mitchell Pearce, Ben Hunt and Kieran Foran. Jack Wighton is said to be on $900,000-plus and Cody Walker is also in that ballpark after signing his new deal.

While Tedesco is regarded as the world's best, Keary would be challenging him as the most valuable player given his ability to own the big moments.

Keary's clutch play to set up Boyd Cordner's match-turning try against Parramatta last weekend was just another example.

Peter Sterling said after Keary should be the NSW five-eighth this year.

You'd imagine neither Tedesco nor Keary would be the wanting to leave the Roosters, and Politis certainly doesn't want to let them go.

"We are very, very proud of them," Politis added.

"They are good citizens and great club guys."

While Teddy gets the spotlight, Luke Keary may just be the Roosters MVP. Picture: Getty Images.
While Teddy gets the spotlight, Luke Keary may just be the Roosters MVP. Picture: Getty Images.

 

The Roosters' ability to manage their salary cap is often scoffed at by rivals given how much depth and talent they have in their system.

In fairness they have a number of long term players and a tremendous development program.

They also know how to pick up a bargain like they did with Keary, Daniel Tupou and Siosiua Taukeiaho, and more recently Brett and Josh Morris.

It's reported the Morris brothers came for less than $300,000 each, and Cronulla paid a significant portion of Josh's wage before he arrived.

"And look at last weekend against Parramatta, they were outstanding," Politis said.

"You hardly ever seen them make a mistake."

Just like the Roosters when it comes to recruitment.

Originally published as Politis' hands-off warning: Teddy and Keary not for sale


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