More than 20 per cent of the Gold Coast's $10 million salary cap would be committed to just two players next season if David Fifita's big-money move to the Titans plays out.
But, as both Brisbane and the Titans await his decision, master coach Wayne Bennett understands the attraction and Gold Coast coach Justin Holbrook is comfortable with his club's big-money play.
The tug of war for the 20-year-old's talents escalated on Wednesday when the Titans reportedly upped their offer to an NRL record deal of $1.25 million a season.
Still at least two weeks away from a return from injury, Fifita had been tossing up a $1.1m-per season offer from the Titans.
It was one he reportedly intended to take before changing his mind and indicating his intention to remain at Red Hill - a U-turn that inspired the Titans to raise the stakes.
Halfback Ashley Taylor's $1m-a-season deal runs until the end of the 2021 campaign, meaning he and Fifita would take up the lion's share of the cap if the Titans' bold play comes off.
"You need big money signings, you need your hard working guys that aren't on big money as well. It's a mixture," Holbrook said of the scope of the Fifita deal.
"Recruitment's ongoing, it's not just today or it won't be done when Dave makes his decision. It's ongoing all the time ... it's part of the job, there's always something happening in that area."
Veteran South Sydney coach Bennett, who introduced Fifita to the big stage during his last year at the Broncos, saw no issue with the spiralling contracts for the game's emerging stars.
"It's the market, it's like buying a house isn't it," he said.
"If someone wants to pay you a ridiculous amount of money for your house you're not going to say no.
"The bottom line is, it says what they think of him and how important he is to the club.
"Everyone sees the great ability he's got; there's another generation of football in front of him ... I don't know of many other 20-year-old's that have played like he has in my time in the NRL."
Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold was reluctant to fuel the conversation when pressed on Thursday, saying he felt uncomfortable with how the issue had played out in public.
"Some clubs might go rogue and make a crazy offer to some young players, but you don't know what every club is working towards or what they have in their cap and what their planning is," he said.
"So I'd hate to make comment or pass judgement on what other clubs are doing.
"But any player in the game that gets offered a lot of money, there's certain scrutiny and pressure that comes with that."
Australian Associated Press