Parramatta's Jarryd Hayne on a run during NRL match Sydney Roosters v Parramatta Eels at ANZ Stadium. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Parramatta's Jarryd Hayne on a run during NRL match Sydney Roosters v Parramatta Eels at ANZ Stadium. Picture. Phil Hillyard

Will Hayne chase money or an NRL title?

WHAT price a premiership?

When Jarryd Hayne quit the NRL to chase his NFL dream four years ago, he came out and said it was time for a new challenge because he had nothing left to achieve in rugby league.

At the time, Storm captain Cameron Smith questioned Hayne's motivation given the two-time Dally M Medal winner had never won a premiership.

But the next decision Hayne makes in the coming weeks could ultimately determine if he will ever realise arguably the only thing he still has left to achieve in the game.

While St George Illawarra might not have the money to satisfy Hayne's reported $700,000 asking price, the question the 30-year-old should be asking himself before settling on his future is what value he places on winning a competition before he retires.

With Parramatta needing to offload Michael Jennings to Newcastle before they can make Hayne a serious offer, it is understood the Dragons have about $500,000 ready to spend. They are sitting back waiting patiently to see if Hayne wants to make a change.

Canterbury have also expressed interest and they are also looking to sign Hayne at a bargain price - but they only finished marginally ahead of the bottom-placed Eels this year.

If Hayne were to move to the Dragons, he would join a squad that is already considered one of the strongest in the league - they have an outstanding forward pack and two international halves, but are in desperate need of an experienced big-name outside back.

Jarryd Hayne has some big decisions to make.
Jarryd Hayne has some big decisions to make.

The retirement of Jason Nightingale and release of Nene Macdonald to North Queensland leaves the Dragons short of wingers, and there are still questions over Matt Dufty at fullback after his struggles late in the season to maintain the early standard he set.

After a slow start to this season because of injury, Hayne showed that when he is fit and motivated, he can still match it with the best players in the NRL.

While some still see him as a dangerous commodity, the Dragons understand that with risk, there could come a huge reward.

It all now depends on how Hayne wants to play out the remainder of his career. For all the criticism he cops, Hayne has handled himself extremely well with the comments he has made in relation to the Eels' inability to come up with a contract for next season.

The Dragons are the only contender chasing Hayne. Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.
The Dragons are the only contender chasing Hayne. Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

Hayne has made it known his first choice would be to stay at the Eels, and even though the club has been just as public about its desire to keep him, Parramatta can't offer him a contract unless they can move on another player.

The Dragons won't say so publicly but they are watching on with interest and are not prepared to give up on Hayne just yet.

In 2014, Hayne turned down the chance to become the highest-paid player in NRL history so he could head to the United States and pursue an NFL career. In doing so he ignored then-NRL chief executive Dave Smith's advances to have his contract at Parramatta topped up by the NRL's marquee allowance.

It remains to be seen if money will be a motivation this time, or if Hayne places more value on trying to close out his career with the one achievement that has eluded him.

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