St George Illawarra has officially parted ways with Jake Marketo, Nick Emmett and David Gower ahead of the 2013 season, as the club shores up its future playing roster.
Former Melbourne Storm forward Atelea Vea has extended his one-year contract for another season after showing much promise in an injury-interrupted 2012 campaign.
Marketo and Gower are both courting interest from rival NRL clubs, while Emmett is expected to continue playing with the Illawarra Cutters in NSW Cup after landing a job in the region's mines.
Gower's manager, Sam Ayoub, expected the 26-year-old to make his mark in the NRL next season after managing only eight first-grade games between the Dragons and Wests Tigers since 2009.
It's understood that Gower, who was named the Cutters' player of the season last week, has already received interest from the Storm and from cashed-up English clubs.
"I'm in the midst of discussion with two NRL clubs at the moment, but in fairness I don't really want to say any more at this stage," Ayoub said.
"He'll have somewhere to go next year. It's looking positive."
There is similar promise for Marketo following a three-year tenure at the Dragons, with early links with the Wests Tigers for next season.
There was some speculation that the 23-year-old, who made nine first-grade appearances in 2012, had a forthcoming two-year extension with the Dragons ripped up after an off-field issue, but both the club and his manager Steve Gillis have vigorously denied that.
"What the club's told me is that they've got excess numbers in his position and that he's been advised to explore other options - that was probably three weeks ago," Gillis said.
"I'd be flabbergasted if anything happened involving him off-field. We hadn't finalised terms so there was no deal to be ripped up, if that's what you're referring to."
Gillis said several NRL clubs had sought interest in Marketo for next year, but refused to go into specifics.
"I've got no doubts he'll be playing the NRL next year," he said
"He's still on the market and we haven't been able to come to terms at Saints, so it's unlikely that he'll be there."
Dragons officials were preparing for a small influx of new buys yesterday as 2012 players set off on their end-of-season trip to Las Vegas.
Cronulla second-rower Tyson Frizell, Broncos fullback Gerard Beale and rookie Manly halfback Josh Drinkwater have all inked contracts for the 2013 season.
Ongoing speculation over possible talks with Michael Jennings have also been cleared up by his manager, Isaac Moses.
"Michael Jennings is under contract with Penrith for the next three years, I've got no idea where those rumours are coming from," he told the Mercury this week.
There are also murmurs that Cowboys centre Kane Linnett is interested in a move closer to home. The Windang junior has played 23 games with the Cowboys this season.