Wighton sent the player market into a frenzy last week when he opted not to activate a contract clause with the Raiders for 2024.
It instantly made him a free agent, and a number of clubs registered their interest in the 2020 Dally M Medallist.
Leading the pack was the Dolphins, and supercoach Wayne Bennett confirmed they could spend upwards of $1 million a season to nab Wighton if they wanted to.
Wighton would certainly bring starpower to the club, but the question is where he would fit into Bennett’s side.
The 30-year-old plays five-eighth for the Raiders, but was formally a full-time fullback, and also plays at centre or off the bench at representative level.
”Jack is a quality player,” Lockyer told Wide World of Sports’ QLDER.
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“I guess we don’t know what their cap looks like, but if you could get him without breaking the bank… if you pay too much for Jack, it impacts you holding onto some of the younger kids coming through, then that’s a bit different.
“If you can afford him and you can fit him into your team, well he is a quality player.”
The Dolphins have at least one of their long-term halves spots locked up, with teen star Isaiya Katoa showing his class since being handed a shock round one debut by Bennett.
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Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow was brought to the club as its first-choice fullback, and at 21-years-old is still considered a raw talent with huge upside.
The Dolphins have also signed Herbie Farnworth to be one of their centres from next season, and will be forking out plenty of money for he and fellow 2024 recruit Thomas Flegler.
“Katoa, they’ve shown they believe in him as a six. And they just signed Herbie, and it’s very hard to fit two high-paid centres in your roster,” Lockyer said.
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“My gut feel is I don’t think there would be enough capital available to get someone like Jack Wighton, but we’ll wait and see.”
But salary cap or not, former Bennett pupil Wally Lewis says the supercoach will find a way to get Wighton if he wants him.
“Bennett knows the players he wants, the style of players he wants,” Lewis told QLDER.
“Jack is a pretty good player, a very good player, and has performed in difficult circumstances before.
“To put him into a team with a coach that people regard as the best coach ever, I think Bennett would be able to give him guidance that would be beneficial for the team.”
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