Sport: Nathan Cleary is worth $2MILLION per year, claims NRL legend

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Andrew Johns has heaped praise on Nathan Cleary after the Penrith star snubbed hefty offers to commit to the Panthers, with Brad Fittler suggesting the 24-year-old is worth $2million a year. `

While the futures of Cameron Munster and Kalyn Ponga have been highly discussed in recent weeks, there was very little uncertainty surrounding Cleary despite his deal expiring next season.

The 24-year-old is one of the competition's top players but opted not to pursue lucrative offers elsewhere and committed his future to Penrith this week, putting pen to paper on a deal worth $1.1m a season.

Andrew Johns and Brad Fittler have hailed 'selfless' Nathan Cleary after he extended his deal © Provided by Daily Mail Andrew Johns and Brad Fittler have hailed 'selfless' Nathan Cleary after he extended his deal

Cleary is among the highest earners in the NRL and typically the game's best-paid players attract extra scrutiny, but there has been very little disagreement with the salary afforded to the halfback.

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Now, Johns and Fittler have insisted that Cleary is more than worth the $1.1m-per-year being shelled out by Penrith, with Johns lauding the 'selfless' 24-year-old, while Fittler claims the Panthers star could fetch almost double his new salary.

'He could have got so much more elsewhere,' Johns said on Freddy and the Eighth.

The 24-year-old put pen to paper on a deal worth $1.1m-per-year running until 2027 © Provided by Daily Mail The 24-year-old put pen to paper on a deal worth $1.1m-per-year running until 2027

'It's selfless. Pretty much all through the club, I think all the players will take less to stay together and have that special bond and win premierships and keep that club strong.'

'He should be earning $2 million a year, without a doubt,' Fittler added. 'That's what we've got to get our best players to.

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'I think he'll go down as one of the greats.'

Cleary is likely to be a Panther for life and delighted in his new contract extension earlier this week.

Andrew Johns hailed the 'selfless' 24-year-old © Provided by Daily Mail Andrew Johns hailed the 'selfless' 24-year-old Brad Fitter said Cleary should be discussed as a $2m player © Provided by Daily Mail Brad Fitter said Cleary should be discussed as a $2m player

'It's pretty unbelievable, it's hard to put into words, it only hit me last night I was doing to do this,' Nathan said.

'It wasn't really that hard of a decision for me … I'm absolutely blessed to be at this club. I couldn't picture myself anywhere else.

'I came here as a 14-year-old kid after following dad around. It's home for me now. It means everything to me. To stay for longer now and be part of this community is really special.

'At the end of the day I'm getting paid to do something I love. All I ever wanted to do was play NRL and Penrith made that possible for me.'

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