The Warriors big play for Melbourne's Jahrome Hughes has failed.
The 26-year-old playmaker has stuck with the champion Storm club, knocking back the Warriors' vastly superior offer over three years.
Reportedly, the Warriors were offering Hughes $910,000 a season, and the Storm offer was $750,000.
"Having Jahrome re-sign with us is a real boost for the Storm as we head into the new season," said Melbourne's football manager Frank Ponissi.
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The Warriors had big money to spend with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck quitting for rugby at the end of the 2021 season.
The Daily Telegraph described the Warriors offer as a "monster" and claimed Hughes was on the verge of signing "but the Storm have prevailed at the 11th hour".
"The Warriors were confident they had won the bidding war considering Hughes stood to earn an extra $500,000 by moving to New Zealand.
"New Warriors coach Nathan Brown had big plans for Hughes, telling him he would run the side playing on the right side in the No. 7 jumper.
"But the power of the Storm's brand as the most successful club of the past decade convinced Hughes to sacrifice the dollars."
With Tuivasa-Sheck on about $1m, the Warriors have the money and salary cap space to chase another big signing.