The Cowboys' Matt Scott will put family first in his contract negotiations with the North Queensland Cowboys.
The Cowboys' Matt Scott will put family first in his contract negotiations with the North Queensland Cowboys. DAVE HUNT

Scott applies contract pressure to Cowboys

NORTH Queensland co-captain Matt Scott has revealed he is prepared to go elsewhere if a deal can't be brokered with the Cowboys.

The Australian and Queensland representative prop is off-contract at the end of the 2017 season and has begun talks with the club to extend his stay, but admits he's willing to leave the only outfit he's ever known if it is in his family's best interests.

The Cowboys have a lot of work ahead of them, not just in retaining Scott, but also Johnathan Thurston, Gavin Cooper and Jason Taumalolo.

The club is already stretched for depth in the front row following the departure of James Tamou to Penrith and the retirement of Ben Hannant, so the loss of Scott would be another huge blow.

"It is something I do want to get on top of before we get into the season,” Scott told Fox Sports.

"Hopefully I can sort something out with the Cowboys, but I'm definitely not tied down up there.

"It's probably my last big contract, so it's very important that I get it right and make sure it's right for myself and my family. If that's moving clubs or staying at the Cowboys, I'm yet to see.”

There were reports Scott struggled with a neck injury for much of last season, However, the 31-year-old insists his body is in good nick.

"I feel really good at the moment, so I'd love at least two years. I think I've got that in me,” he said.

"I've got better at managing my body and dealing with niggling injuries and I'm still enjoying my footy.

"I don't want to put an end date on anything, whether that be rep footy or my career, so I'll take as long as a club's willing to give me.”

While there is no guarantee he'll be at the club in 2018, Scott has called on the Cowboys to make a big splash in the player market in order sign a big-name prop.

Apart from Scott, there are a host of big boppers looking for new deals, including Jordan McLean, Adam Blair, Aaron Woods, Josh McGuire, Dylan Napa, Ben Matulino and Kane Evans.

"I think we need to sign another experienced front rower,” Scott said.

"While we're looking pretty good at the moment, one injury and we start to get a bit skinny on experience, so no doubt the club's already looking and there's a couple of good front rowers off contract next year.

"I think we need to make a big signing there.”

When asked what type of front rower he'd like the club to chase, Scott said: "I think one thing that worked well with Jimmy (Tamou) was his body shape.

"Between me, him and Jason we had three different styles of play and three different body shapes and I think that really makes us harder to handle defensively.

"So I think someone similar to Jimmy - someone a bit taller, which isn't hard compared to me.

"I love to see us get someone with a bit of aggression and a bit of mongrel because that's probably something we've missed in that position.”