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Edwards grateful for perfect contract timing but feels for teammates

March 5, 2020. Call it pure luck or good management, Dylan Edwards's contract extension couldn't have come at a better time for the Penrith fullback and his young family.

It was the week before the start of the season. A fortnight later, the Telstra Premiership was suspended and contract negotiations for all players have been put on hold.

He's now hoping the rest of his teammates including skipper James Tamou and emerging winger Brian To'o, who are among the 180 NRL players off contract with their club at season's end, are able to secure their futures once the coronavirus pandemic is all over.

Edwards joined the likes of Raiders pair Jarrod Croker and Jack Wighton, Parramatta forward Shaun Lane and Roosters utility Nat Butcher in signing new contracts beyond the 2020 season before the season kicked off.

NRL.com reported on Friday around a third of players in the NRL are without deals beyond next season and are unable to negotiate during the suspended period.

"I'm one of the lucky ones that got it done before all this happened, it's one less stress I have to worry about with my family and I'm grateful for that," Edwards told NRL.com.

Last time they met: Broncos v Panthers - Round 22, 2019

"I do feel for the guys that haven't quite secured their future [though], it would be hard."

Edwards said the prospect of working a side job temporarily was not in the works but he had refreshed his thoughts in exploring life after football.

The 24-year-old had begun to study high school teaching and business a couple of years ago.

"I put it on the backburner and [we] had our little bub Bronte, but it definitely makes you think now," Edwards said.

"Especially not knowing when we'll start back up again, to find a life after footy. My partner and I are pretty good with money, we're aware it's not going to last forever and try to save as much as we can.

"Obviously now with the pay cuts you've got to be more smart with what you spend your money on."

Edwards was hopeful of a return to the paddock last week but now insists the ankle he injured in February will be further strengthened with at least another two months of rehabilitation by the time he steps on a field again.

"I was doing a bit of a wrestling game and got caught awkwardly in a drill and done my syndesmosis, a couple of days later I was in for surgery," he said.

Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards.
Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

"I was at the lucky end of it, it could've been worse. We pushed hard and were realistic with it and aggressive with it but now this has happened.

"As far as the injury goes it's probably better, there's less pressure on it now for a while but we still need to do the right things."