Wednesday night’s Origin decider is just before Cooper Cronk’s deadline where he will announce whether or not he will retire or continue playing in Sydney.
The Sharks, despite having one of the competition’s best halves on their book, will be closely monitoring the news and have ideas of where they can use Cronk if he wants to put the boots on for another season.
“At least Wadeo (Graham) wouldn’t be caning him every time he got the ball,” veteran Chris Heighington said.
“If he does come that would be awesome for the club.”
The Knights and Rabbitohs are circling with big-money offers that are reportedly around the $1 million mark, a sum coach Shane Flanagan is unsure he can compete with.
“If it’s true clubs will pay (Maloney) $1 million, I can’t go there,” Flanagan told News Corp Australia.
“But he’s on contract with us next year, I’ll stand by that, and I think he’ll stand by that.
“If there’s an option there for us, we’ll see what happens.”
Maloney is on a reported $600,000 a year deal with Cronulla and he has kept it no secret that he wants an upgrade after steering the side to a premiership last year and has found himself in a Blues jersey again.
Knights coach Nathan Brown has been searching for a marquee playmaker all year round and will have his fingers crossed Cronk plays on.
“He’s contracted to the Sharks for another year,” Brown said.
“He’s a very influential player in our game and has been for a fair period of time.
“If James Maloney became available, would you look at him? I think any club would look at him.”