It is expected the Storm will increase Addo-Carr’s deal to about $500,000, still short of the $550,000 to $600,000 the Tigers were willing to pay him each season of the four-year deal they have posed.
Addo-Carr’s manager, Mario Tartak, met with Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe, chairman Lee Hagipantelis and head of football Adam Hartigan on Thursday afternoon to update the club of Addo-Carr’s likely predicament despite his client’s original intention to return to Sydney for family reasons.
Addo-Carr is off contract with the Storm after next season and the Tigers are likely to turn their attention to securing his services in 2022 following the indication that he is likely to remain at Melbourne.
Addo-Carr is in Origin camp with the Blues for the next week, but is expected to meet with Tigers officials once NSW’s campaign draws to a close following Wednesday’s decider at Suncorp Stadium.
The Storm were willing to release Addo-Carr but wanted a player to replace him in exchange, with the Tigers knocking back Melbourne’s requests for David Nofoaluma and Tommy Talau.
The likely retention of Addo-Carr is a huge boost for the Storm, who have lost fellow winger Suliasi Vunivalu to rugby union. Vunivalu was this week called straight into the Wallabies squad after Dave Rennie invited the Fijian into camp in the Hunter Valley on Wednesday.
On Thursday Addo-Carr was spotted with a bandage underneath his left big toe after he had jarred it in a tackle in the opening minutes of the 34-10 victory. Despite the pain, Addo-Carr was still able to clock a top speed of almost 37km/h in the middle of ANZ Stadium.
“My foot and big toe jarred up at the start of the game,” Addo-Carr said on Thursday. “I didn’t take notice of it until the back end of the first half when it started to get stiff and sore and I couldn’t run on it properly.
“I ran the ball and one of the Queensland boys landed on my foot as it was up in the air. It put pressure on my big toe.
“I should be sweet. The doctor and physios said I’ll be right. There’s just some swelling and I have to ice it. I’ll try to keep off it.
“When I did it I was like running on the side of my foot for most of the game, then everything started locking up on me, including my calf. I’m lucky it’s only a swollen toe, nothing serious.”
NSW officials did not bother to send Addo-Carr for scans, which is the strongest indication his place in the blockbuster decider is not under threat.
Nick Cotric looms as the logical choice to come in on the right wing for Addo-Carr should he not improve, while Ryan Papenhuyzen trained strongly on Thursday and is finally available for selection.
Addo-Carr revealed he had issues with his left big toe while playing in the under-20s.
Fittler took one look at Addo-Carr with his shirt off and bandage in full view of the awaiting media and quipped: “He just likes the attention. The medical staff will do what they need to do and he wants to play.”
Addo-Carr was happy for the win, but he also knows the Maroons will be much tougher in their own backyard, and with his Melbourne teammates Cameron Munster and Christian Welch likely to return from head knocks.
Michael Chammas is a sports reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.