The Canberra Raiders are allowing star centre Joey Leilua to test the open market so he can maintain his current value.
It comes as the NRL banned the use of the machine that blinded Leilua before the Raiders' rousing victory over the Melbourne Storm on Saturday night.
Well half of the machine. The spark simulation half where the fragment that ended up in Leilua's eye came from.
The other part of the machine, that spews out smoke, will continue to be used.
Leilua got something stuck in his eye when he ran out before the game - which the Raiders won 12-10 to earn an historic home preliminary final Friday week.
It forced him out of the starting 13 and almost completely out of the game.
Raiders utility Siliva Havili was pulling on his boots when they finally got the fragment out of Leilua's eye and he was cleared to take a place on the bench.
While Leilua's eye was feeling better when the Green Machine landed back in Canberra on Sunday afternoon, it was to revelations the 27-year-old was free to look for options for next year and beyond.
He's been linked to a potential move to the Canterbury Bulldogs.
Leilua's off contract with the Raiders at the end of next season, but at this stage they're unable to pay the strike centre what he's worth in the 2021 salary cap.
It all came about after Leilua's management came to the Raiders looking to see if they wanted to extend the Samoan international's current contract.
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But at this stage they can only pay him less than his current contract if they were to extend.
So they've given him free rein to test the open market for 2020 as well as beyond.
The Raiders' salary cap position could change and Leilua could remain with the past five seasons with.
Ironically, Leilua leaving could help the Raiders keep his good mate Jordan Rapana, who is off contract at the end of this season.
"I'm totally aware of the situation, as is BJ's manager. Everything's being done professionally and respectfully," Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said.
"The best part about the communications at the moment is it's all above board and very clear with BJ's manager."
Canberra co-captain Jarrod Croker said Leilua's contract talk wouldn't distract the playing group.
He said they'd coped with the saga surrounding Leilua's pre-game eye problems before knocking off the Storm.
Leilua came on when Nick Cotric was forced off with a head knock and a broken nose.
He helped set up John Bateman's winning try when he swooped on a loose ball.
"Nah. Joey got hit in the head with a firework coming onto the field," Croker said.
"That didn't distract us so I don't think that sort of stuff will distract us. We've got a good bunch of boys here and they're all pretty tight.
"That's a part of footy. We can't control that so we won't let that worry us."
NRL PRELIMINARY FINAL
September 27: Canberra Raiders v South Sydney or Manly at Canberra Stadium, 7.50pm.