The Warriors face the prospect of losing Roger Tuivasa-Sheck at the end of his current deal.
The captain is signed until the end of next season, but there is no certainty he will stay beyond the 2018 campaign.
The Herald on Sunday understands there is a good chance he will seek new pastures, underlining his club's current malaise.
This season has been the worst since 2012, in terms of the expectation and roster potential measured against the results, and it's hard to see the Warriors going significantly better next year.
They have so far struggled in their recruitment efforts to boost their playing stocks, and there are many questions hanging over the current squad.
There are also doubts over the football environment at Mt Smart. Despite all the positive talk in recent weeks, one inescapable fact remains - the club have lost eight matches in a row, some against modest opposition.
And maybe the biggest concern is the lack of development this year; across the whole roster, only a handful of players have truly improved across 2017.
There is also the uncertainty around the potential change of ownership and the presence of a new chief executive.
Tuivasa-Sheck was sold a vision before he came to Mt Smart ahead of the 2016 season, and that hasn't come close to fruition.
With that backdrop, Tuivasa-Sheck, who enjoyed so much success at the Roosters, is in no hurry to ink a new deal.
This season has been the toughest of his life, as his personal form has dived in the struggle to keep his team above water.
The lingering belief remains that Tuivasa-Sheck has also not been used properly. He is one of the most dangerous broken field runners in the game, and became the best fullback in the NRL at Bondi by constantly backing up through the middle.
But at the Warriors, he is used like a Fiat rather than a Ferrari, and the sight of him taking regular prop-style hit-ups into heavy traffic has been hard to watch.
"I feel like I have been happy, say 40 per cent of the time with my own performance," said Tuivasa-Sheck. "I feel like I have gone well in some parts, but really haven't reached my peak, or where I would love to be at this time.
"I've been worrying a lot about other stuff besides me. That's where errors or other stuff that don't normally come into my game have started to creep in."
The Warriors remain hopeful of persuading Tuivasa-Sheck to stay, but it will be a hard sell. The club is also aware of the 24-year-old's value on the open market, and there would be no shortage of potential suitors for his services in 2019 and beyond.
"We have to give him the plan of what the future looks like for the footy club," said Warriors coach Stephen Kearney. "We've been very mindful of doing that, especially in terms of who we are looking to recruit.
"Guys like him and Shaun [Johnson] and Simon [Mannering] are like executives in a business. Everyone is involved in the consultation to make sure we get the best for the business."
The Warriors have the chance to end the season on a high this evening, as they face the Tigers in Sydney. A win would take the edge off their horrendous recent run, but it looks unlikely. The Tigers have won the last three clashes between the teams and are always formidable at their spiritual home of Leichhardt Oval, while the Warriors have recorded just one win across the Tasman this season.