Contract news - Orford, Crocker,
Mason & Anasta

Melbourne Storm officials are hopeful halfback Matt Orford will agree to a new contract today. Orford is expected to either sign today or tell the Storm he will test his value on the open market next month.

Several clubs are believed to be interested, including South Sydney and the Gold Coast. Melbourne is also waiting to hear from Sydney Roosters backrower Michael Crocker.

Meanwhile, Bulldogs premiership stars Willie Mason and Braith Anasta are both expected to test their value on the open market after the June 30 anti-tampering deadline.

Contract negotiations reached a stalemate yesterday and odds are increasing both will leave the Bulldogs. Anasta's manager Greg Willett was denied permission to talk solely to South Sydney before the deadline, a move he believes would have sped up negotiations.

The Bulldogs now run the risk of cashed up clubs throwing their cheque books at the representative pair.

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