BREATHE easy, Knights fans. Kalyn Ponga is going nowhere for the next five seasons after signing the richest deal offered to a player in the club's history.
Ponga and the Knights ended weeks of speculation by announcing on Wednesday a contract extension reported to be worth more than $1 million a season.
And this time, unlike his previous deal, there will be no "get-out" clauses that allow Ponga to potentially explore other options.
The extension will take the dynamic fullback through until the end of the 2027 season, by which time he will be 29 and will have spent a decade with Newcastle.
Asked by the Newcastle Herald if had thought beyond the next five years, and whether he would like to play out his career with the Knights or pursue another challenge, Ponga replied: "It's hard to think five years ahead. It's hard to think a month or two months ahead ... I'll be 29 or so by then. I haven't really thought about that.
"I just know I've got my challenges here now and I just really want to achieve those goals."
His main goal is to captain the Knights to a premiership.
"I see the vision of the club, where the club is moving, everyone involved," he said.
"So many people working hard. We've all got the same goal at the moment, and that's to win.
"I don't want to walk away from that. I want to be at the front end of that, and I want to do it for the next five years ... there's a lot of hard work that goes into building a premiership. For us, it's about sticking at what we're doing and working hard."
Ponga said he "definitely" considered the possibility of joining new franchise the Dolphins.
An option in his contract allowed him to negotiate with rival clubs, and master coach Wayne Bennett tried to lure him to Queensland as a marquee signing for the Dolphins' 2023 foundation season.
"For me, the way we've always gone about things is you put all options on the table, so that you know what's in front of you," Ponga said.
"I think if you sign for five years, you want to know what's going on. I just put everything on the table and made a decision."
In the end, whatever the Dolphins were offering was not enough to tempt the Queensland Origin star to jump ship.
"I feel like the vision here is more for me," he said.
"I've worked hard the last four years to get to this position, and I want to work hard the next five years, as a Knight, to win a comp ... it was more comfortable for me to stay here."
He added that he felt settled living in Newcastle.
"This is home," he said. "I'm happy here and my family's happy here."
Knights football manager Danny Buderus said the club "like to handle our business behind closed doors", but admitted he would not be in favour of similar get-out clauses in contracts after the conjecture caused by these negotiations.
"Kalyn is a unique talent," Buderus said.
"With unique talent, you have unique contracts. I wouldn't like to see those contracts handed out too many times."
Knights coach Adam O'Brien said there had "already been a reaction" from Ponga's teammates when he informed them the skipper had re-signed.
"It's a privilege to coach him ... there's a lot of young kids running around in backyards, pretending they're KP," O'Brien said.
"It's great for our town. It's great for our team that we get him for another five years in our sport.
"And I think that sometimes get overlooked when we want to drag this process through the mud. That's overlooked. He's good for this sport and all the people involved in it."