Sam Thaiday tests value as Broncos try to hold onto him By Peter Badel February 15, 2009http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,25055690-23214,00.html BRISBANE are facing a battle to retain Sam Thaiday, with the star forward signalling a desire to test his value on the open market. Brisbane faces some retention headaches in coming months as Broncos chief executive Bruno Cullen attempts to hold off-contract quartet Darren Lockyer, Karmichael Hunt, Dave Taylor and Thaiday despite salary cap constraints. Thaiday's manager Col Davis began preliminary talks with the Broncos a fortnight ago but says he will source rival offers before the Maroons powerhouse makes any decision to commit to the Broncos. The 23-year-old has rarely attracted interest from Sydney outfits by virtue of his success at the Broncos and the feeling he was settled in Queensland due to links with his Torres Strait homeland. But with Thaiday able to command upwards of $300,000 a season on the open market, the former Test forward views his next contract as one of the most important of his career. Tensions between the Broncos and Thaiday surfaced late last year when he copped a $20,000 fine for his involvement in the sexual assault allegations that engulfed the club. But Davis said that was not the reason Thaiday was looking at other options. "We'll certainly be weighing up other offers," said Davis. "Sam is happy at the Broncos but he's reached a point in his life where he needs to assess what else is out there. "What happened last year is in the past. Sam has copped the decision on the chin and moved on -- he certainly has no issue with the Broncos in that regard. "I've had a chat with Pete Nolan (Broncos football manager), so we've kicked things off. "He's keen to be at the Broncos, but he'd be silly not to look at any offer that comes his way." Davis said Thaiday was reluctant to sign a long-term deal and would prefer a two-year arrangement, which would tie him to the Broncos until the end of 2011. He also revealed the back-rower was keen to know what plans the Broncos had for inspirational captain Lockyer, who is keen to extend his career at Red Hill for a further two years. "What Darren is doing next year is one of the first questions a bloke in my position will ask," Davis said. "I have indicated that two years is the maximum we are looking at. We tend to go in two-year increments. That's what we've done in the past so I can't see that changing. "It would be one or two but it wouldn't be three. "If he was 29 we might be chasing three, but Sam is happy to back himself, to know that his value will keep increasing if he keeps playing good football." Cullen said he was hopeful of retaining Thaiday. "Pete Nolan is handling negotiations and it's only early days, but we'd like to keep Sam," he said. Davis ruled out Thaiday defecting to play gridiron following reports Australia-based talent scouts were keen to lure him to the NFL. "It was a left field one but it's not something Sam will consider too seriously," Davis said. "He was flattered by the interest but it would be a difficult transition. "He would have to train for a year in Australia before he would even get the chance to trial in the NFL."