With the Finals over and the November 1 contract deadline passed, we can officially declare the NRL’s silly season open. We will relaunch Smart Signings, our dissection of clubs’ weaknesses, their needs for improvement, and realistic available options. We will provide stats, profiles, and insights without rumors. For Kevin Walters and the Brisbane Broncos, the path to going better in 2024 has obstacles. Herbie Farnworth, the game’s best center, has left for the Dolphins, and Thomas Flegler and Keenan Palasia have also left. The Broncos have a junior nursery pushing great players but being judged differently than regular clubs. It’s Premierships or nothing for the Broncos, and the issue could be that they made the Grand Final ahead of schedule. The best years for players like Reece Walsh and Ezra Mam may have passed already. The system takes players 95% of the way, and whether the best is yet to come is uncertain. While key players like Walsh, Mam, and Reynolds are still in the team, there are still questions and uncertainties looming in the team. The club has bench players who are not yet proven and key players who are unsigned for next year. The main question facing the Broncos is the same that delivered them their biggest boost: whither Reynolds? He is an excellent player and the undoubted leader of the group, and his intangible skills are hard to replace. The team may need to make some strategic changes and add a new halfback, like Wigan halfback Harry Smith, who can fill the leadership vacuum in the team. The Broncos could consider extending some key players and freeing up some cash, and then look for a 2024 halfback like Smith to improve their team. They could also consider making a power play to bring back Sam Walker, but the options are open if they want another year of Reynolds instead. With a strong and strategic approach, the Broncos could aim for a better 2024 season.