Bellamy’s theory on why Smith yet to decide fate
Melbourne Storm remains in the dark about skipper Cameron Smith's 2021 plans less than two months before the start of the new NRL season.
The 430-game superstar declared last November he would make a decision on his playing future "before Christmas" after leading Storm to the 2020 title.
Although, he is still yet to inform the club of his intentions with the future immortal believed to be currently living on the Gold Coast.
"I wouldn't imagine Cameron thought it was going to take this long to make the decision either," Storm coach Craig Bellamy told News Corp Australia.
"He's not here at the moment, so my opinion is what it's always been.
"And that's that he deserves the right to make that decision when it's right for him, so I'd just leave it at that."
It has become increasingly certain Smith has played his last game for Storm.
With his family now seemingly settled in Queensland, his options appear to be playing on with the Gold Coast Titans, the Brisbane Broncos or retirement.
Although, whether either club could fit Smith in their salary cap at this point remains to be seen.
Bellamy said he would not begrudge Smith if the player he has coached for 428 out of his 430 NRL games signed elsewhere in 2021.
"I don't know how I'd feel (about that) until it happened," he said.
"I probably wouldn't like it that much, but like I've said all along, whatever is right for him and his family I'll back them up all the way.
"If he ends up playing with another club and he believed that was the best thing for him and his family, then that's great and I'll go along with that knowing we've had the best out of him for the longest period of time.
"No one would begrudge what decision he comes up with."
Rising star Harry Grant is set to slot into the No. 9 jersey for Storm this season, with Kiwi international Brandon Smith also expected to spend time at dummy-half.
Jesse Bromwich looms as Storm's next captain, either on his own or in a shared arrangement with Dale Finucane and Kenny Bromwich also in the frame.
Originally published as Bellamy's theory on why Smith yet to decide fate