Warriors playmaker Shaun Johnson has admitted he may need to take a pay cut if the struggling club is to become a success in the NRL and win their maiden premiership.

Johnson is off contract with the Warriors at the end of the next season, and his disappointing and inconsistent performances in 2016 could mean his demands for higher pay are futile.

However, at just 26 years old, the young star still has plenty of time to improve and a playmaker of his ability could see upwards of $800,000 per year from competing clubs in an open market.

His preference, however, is to stay with the Auckland-based side, and he'll do whatever it takes to make it happen.


"I'm sure my manager's on to it already and they'll be going back and forth but whether they can act on it this year or next year, it doesn't really matter. I've just got to play good footy, that's all I can worry about," Johnson told Fox Sports.

"I don't really give a s*** about the salary cap, as long as we're winning games. You ask any player who plays this game, you want to win comps.

"We've missed out on finals for however many years now, we just need to win. If that means I take less money or that means I can't be there to be part of it, I want the club to win. It's pretty simple."

The arrival of Kieran Foran at the club, undoubtedly on a large salary, will mean the Warriors have less wiggle room with the salary cap.

Skipper Ryan Hoffman, Bodene Thompson, Charlie Gubb, Jacob Lillyman and Ben Matulino are also all off contract at the end of next season, meaning competition for pay will be rife.

While the Warriors are still awaiting confirmation of Foran's registration, his one-year deal may be extended should the Kiwi half return to his pre-2016 form.

Competition will also be tough for a starting halves position, with Tuimoaloa Lolohea and Ata Hingano both knocking on the door.

"If the Warriors want to keep me, they'll keep me," Johnson said.

"If they don't, I'm gone. It's simple. I love the club, everyone knows I love the club. I grew up idolising the club. We'll have to wait and see.

"We have some pretty big names at our club so who knows, I might be squeezed out (laughs)."