Smith’s dad reveals his thoughts on champ’s future
Cameron Smith's father says a decision from his son is "imminent" and believes the Storm champion is ready to announce his NRL retirement.
Speaking exclusively to News Corp, Wayne Smith - the man who knows the Storm hooker best - revealed the 37-year-old is unlikely to chase a swan song at the Broncos or Titans due to his loyalty to the Storm.
Melbourne want a definitive call from Smith this week as the Storm attempt to retain hooking understudies Harry Grant and Brandon Smith under the salary cap for 2021.
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The Storm have space in their salary cap to retain the 423-game legend for a last hurrah in 2021, but Smith senior suggested the former Queensland Origin and Australia skipper is leaning towards walking away for good.
"My gut feel is that Cam may put the cue in the rack," Smith said.
"Cam will make a decision shortly. He told me three weeks ago he would make a call and it's now been four weeks, so the decision is imminent.
"Mentally and physically, he feels he can play on next year, but he is weighing up other factors.
"Physically, Cam feels fine and says he could go another year, but whether that's with Melbourne, Brisbane or the Titans, I don't know. He won't go to a Sydney club.
"Within himself, he feels he can go again, but he doesn't want to commit to anything that he can't back up.
"Rather than let anyone down, he would rather retire."
Smith's wife and children have recently relocated to the Gold Coast due to the COVID outbreak in Victoria, fuelling speculation the Storm rake could finish his career at the Titans.
Titans boss Darryl Kelly has confirmed his interest in the NRL's most-capped player, but Wayne Smith says he would be stunned if his son quit the Storm to play for a rival club.
"Cam has always said he wanted to be a one club man. Retirement is on the table for Cam," he said.
"Cam nearly went to the Broncos five years ago and one of the things that concerned him was being seen as 'The Messiah'. He didn't want people to think, here's Cam, here's a grand final.
"That's massive pressure to put on anyone.
"If he decides to play on, he doesn't want the pressure of people expecting him to turn a club around and deliver a premiership.
"He is really good mates with Matty Geyer and their families are quite close. They are staying on the Gold Coast at the moment to have the support from the Geyers and Barb's parents live in Brisbane too.
"The Titans and Broncos would have something to offer Cam. Imagine Payne Haas or David Fifita running off Cam Smith next year? But Cam has always wanted to be a one club man so I would be surprised if he went somewhere else."
Wayne Smith said the Storm captain is mindful of the repercussions for Grant and Brandon Smith, who will leave the club if the skipper stays on.
"Cam is aware of the two boys in Melbourne and he will consider Brandon Smith and Harry Grant in all of this," he said.
"I wouldn't like Cam to damage his legacy. Whatever he decides is his call. He has been astute with his decisions to date so I'll trust him to make the final call.
"He doesn't owe Melbourne anything, he has repaid them over and over, but they did give him the opportunity and he hasn't forgotten that."