We’re sorry, this feature is currently unavailable. We’re working to restore it. Please try again later. Canberra have every intention of keeping Jack Wighton in lime green for the rest of his career. Wighton caught most of the game, and the Raiders, off-guard on Tuesday when it emerged that instead of taking up a 2024 option in his favour, he will instead test his value on the open market – making him easily the best credentialed playmaker available in a market short on them. A Dally M medallist, World Cup winner with seven Test caps and 10 NSW Origin appearances, Wighton is earning around $900,000 on his current Raiders deal, with an increase to around $1 million already pencilled into that 2024 season. An offer a touch over that magic million mark, the Raiders can compete with. Anything that swings too far toward the $1.3million-$1.4 million the Wests Tigers were willing to dangle in front of Mitchell Moses though, and the landscape changes. “We would love to see Jack finish as a one-club player and that’s certainly our aim,” Raiders CEO Don Furner told the Herald on Tuesday. “We’re fully prepared for this situation and he certainly deserves the chance to look around. Jack came across to Canberra as a 15- or 16-year-old. “He’s been with us for 14 years and been loyal to our club, he’s never been shopped around, just always came back and signed up. This is possibly his last contract, he’s got a young family to think of and we fully support that. “That said, we’ll do everything to keep him too. We’ll allow that process to happen and then continue talks.” Complicating matters for some clubs is the need, still, for a hard and fast salary cap for 2024 and beyond. Canberra Raiders star Jack Wighton will test the market with a player option in his contract for the 2024 season.Credit:Getty Cronulla’s extension talks with Nicho Hynes, for instance, have been slowed somewhat by the uncertainty. His value only goes one way in the meantime. Rugby league’s market waits for no-one though, which is why lucrative, long-term deals for the likes of Moses, Stephen Crichton, Herbie Farnworth and the like have still been pushed through. Several clubs contacted following the Wighton news held fire on Tuesday. His quality, versatility and durability, in a market that again waits for no-one, will shift that soon enough. So too, the season-long dynamic at clubs with room under the salary cap and a hole to fill, be it at five-eighth or centre. The Tigers are the obvious candidates with Luke Brooks leading their off-contract list and the wooden spooners scrambling as the only winless side left after a month. Like the Dolphins, the joint-venture has kept cash aside and talked long and often about signing genuine star players. Wayne Bennett is willing to have a conversation, but as yet hasn’t spoken to Wighton or his management. Uncertainty at the Dragons around coach Anthony Griffin leaves all wildcards on the table, though club sources were backing emerging local talent over an import of Wighton’s stature at first contact. Canberra, meanwhile, have long had Wighton in their future plans. With 224 games at the age of 30, it’s hard to picture him in any other colours. Raiders sources insist there is no Adam Reynolds-South Sydney type situation afoot, and there are few salary cap pressures on the club, or concerns about their five-eighth’s long-term fitness. “There’s no question of coming back with an offer from us,” Furner said when asked if the club had last rights in Wighton’s negotiations.