23 December 2022

Jack Wighton in a position to join the likes of Daley, Meninga, Croker and Tongue as a one-club player with the Raiders

| Tim Gavel
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Jack Wighton at AAMI Park

Jack Wighton following the Raiders’ win over Melbourne in the 2022 elimination final. Photo: Canberra Raiders.

When Jack Wighton signed a five-year deal with the Canberra Raiders in 2020, an option in his favour was inserted in the contract.

This is a common feature in long-term contracts these days. It gives the player a sense of freedom at the backend of the deal.

Wighton had an option in his favour for the 2023 and 2024 seasons included his contract.

He has already taken up the option for 2023, which only leaves the option for 2024 to be decided.

Wighton will be 30 next season and 31 heading into 2024, so it’s fair to say his next contract will be possibly the last he signs in the NRL.

Jack Wighton

Jack Wighton arriving for the 26 March 2022 clash against the Gold Coast Titans (24-22). Photo: Canberra Raiders.

That said, he has shown no sign of being impacted by age.

In the 2022 season he played 22 NRL games. He played Origin for NSW and in the World Cup for Australia.

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His option for the 2024 season comes at a fortuitous time with the salary cap tipped to rise to close to $12 million in 2023.

The Raiders have indicated they will sit down with Wighton and his management team early next year to discuss his plans for 2024.

Jack Wighton training

Jack Wighton running the ball at Canberra Raiders training in 2021. Photo: Canberra Raiders.

If he entered the open market, which he had the option of doing from 1 November this year, he would most likely command a higher salary with his ability to play in a number of positions adding to his value.

But he is settled in Canberra, which may mean more than chasing bigger dollars.

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There is the possibility that the Raiders will sign him to a new extended deal thus eliminating the 2024 option.

If that happens, Wighton is destined to become a one-club player alongside the likes of Mal Meninga, Laurie Daley, Jason Croker and Allan Tongue.

Jack Wighton with Dally M medal

2020 Dally M Medal winner Jack Wighton has options available to him in his contract. Photo: Canberra Raiders.

Indeed, when he signed the five-year contract in 2020, Wighton expressed a desire to play out his career with the Raiders, a club he joined as a 16-year-old from Orange.

“If I can become a one-club player in a city like Canberra, I’d be really grateful,” said Wighton upon signing the five-year contract. “I love it here, love the community and love the team.”

The Raiders will be hoping the outpouring of love continues when they sit down with Wighton to discuss his plans beyond 2023.

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