Salford will press on with the rest of their retention drive following the departure of Niall Evalds.
The Red Devils confirmed the fullback would leave the club last Tuesday after League Express revealed last week that he wwas on his way to Castleford.
However, with a fair chunk of their team off-contract at the end of the year, the Red Devils will now continue in their efforts to keep hold of their other top talent, including hooker Joey Lussick.
“I think we’ve got twelve off again,” Watson said.
“Hopefully with this break we can get a few sorted, or at least get offers to them. We know it’s hard with the implications of not playing, or playing without crowds and funding being cut beneath you potentially, but we need a strong basis of a squad for the next few years.
“We’re really aware of where we’ve been in the past and we could set Salford back by offering contracts we can’t afford. We always work on a low budget, see where it is taking us and see where the boundaries can be pushed and we’ll look to do that again this year.”
Confirming Evalds’ departure last week, a club statement said: “Salford Red Devils are extremely disappointed with the decision made by Niall Evalds and his representative, for the fullback to end his time at the club following the conclusion of the 2020 season.
“Following a period of negotiations during February and March, Evalds was 48 hours away from signing a new deal to stay at Salford for a further three years, which had been agreed by all parties. A late request was then made for Evalds and his representative to have additional time to consider his options, which the club honoured.
“In April, further discussion took place and an offer was made. Both offers significantly increased the value on his current contract at the club, in addition to incorporating a testimonial and other benefits, which recognised his prior contributions. Salford Red Devils were led to believe that the deal would be successfully concluded on this basis. It was therefore extremely disappointing, after months of negotiations, when it was revealed that the player had then signed for a competitor on Saturday morning.
“It is undoubted that Evalds’ progression under head coach Ian Watson and incorporation within a system which allows him to thrive, has assisted him, along with other players, in gaining recognition across the game. Salford Red Devils thank Evalds for his service and wish him all the best in the remainder of his career.”