General Karmichael Hunt cashs in his Lotto ticket !


Hunt in three-year NRL deal with Broncos
Thursday, June 29, 2006 - 5:34 PM

Brisbane fullback Karmichael Hunt's days of playing for peanuts are over after he agreed to an upgraded three-year deal with the NRL club.

It wasn't a Jerry Maguire "show me the money" deal - the 19-year-old star turned his back on bigger offers which would have likely followed once the NRL's anti-tampering deadline expired at the weekend - but Hunt was more than happy to stay in Brisbane.

"I could have gone somewhere else and got a lot more money but I probably would not have been happy," said Hunt.

"I'm happy with what I've been offered and happy to be continuing my career at a club with so much history and so many great players.

"I didn't really want to go anywhere else."

The Broncos signed Hunt when he was 17 and chief executive Bruno Cullen admitted he'd been paid "peanuts" in his first season.

"The contract he started on three years ago he'd be pretty embarrassed about," smiled Cullen.

"He was straight out of school and he was on peanuts.

"We got very good value for Karmichael in the first year before we upgraded that.

"This is a significant upgrade on that but it's still a lot less than what he might have been able to command elsewhere."

Hunt, who was casual about his new deal, would not say how much his first contract was worth.

"I'm too embarrassed to say," laughed Hunt, who made his debut against the Warriors in 2003 as the youngest player to ever play first grade for the club.

Hunt, who made his Test and State of Origin debuts in the space of two months before breaking his foot, is believed to be getting around $300,000 a season, with the prospect of moving into the club's top bracket after that.

South Sydney were rumoured to be set to throw $500,000-a-season at him in a bid to lure him to Redfern while several other clubs would have parted with big bucks for his prized signature.

Hunt has been identified as a future Broncos captain.

But Cullen stressed that special honour was not used as a contract lure to keep him.

He said Justin Hodges and Corey Parker were also potential captains along with Hunt.

"With all the history and the illustrious players who've been captain, it would be a huge honour to one day (be skipper)," said Hunt.

Hunt said leaving the Broncos had never really entered his thoughts.

"I'm mature enough to realise the guys who've gone to Sydney have been unhappy and have come back," he said.

"You can waste a few seasons.

"For all I've done, I'm still learning and Wayne Bennett is still the best teacher there is."

Hunt's signing follows scrum utility Ian Lacey agreeing to a new two-year deal this week.

"We're still talking to David Stagg, Darius Boyd, Ben Hannant, Tame Tupou and Shane Perry," said Cullen.

"I expect we'll have some news on those guys in the next week or so."

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