Josh McGuire has contacted Broncos teammates from Fiji where he is holidaying to tell them he has played his last game for the club to take up a lucrative multi-year offer with North Queensland.
McGuire's exit helps Brisbane free up salary cap room to re-sign their crop of impressive young forwards as the Queensland and Australia Test lock was on a sizeable contract at the club.
The 28-year-old forward, who has made 194 appearances for Brisbane since making his NRL debut in 2009, started at lock for Australia in their recent Test win over Tonga.
Brisbane have several boom forwards Tevita Pangai jnr, Matthew Lodge, Joe Ofahengaue, David Fifita, Jaydn Su'A and Payne Haas at the club.
Brisbane are yet to re-sign Pangai, Lodge and star winger Corey Oates for the 2019 season and it is understood they are likely to officially announce their retention in the near future now McGuire's departure has been finalised.
McGuire was contracted to Brisbane until the end of 2020 and it is understood his management was seeking an extension of that deal so he could finish his career at the club.
The emergence of a suite of young Broncos forwards, several of whom are signed on long-term deals, restricted the Broncos' capacity to do that.
It is understood Alex Glenn and Jordan Kahu, off contract at the end of 2019, had earlier been offered by their management to the Titans and other clubs which would have also eased salary cap pressures on Brisbane.
McGuire's move to North Queensland adds to the experience and quality the Broncos have lost in their middle forward stocks with Sam Thaiday retiring at the end of 2018 and Korbin Sims moving to St George Illawarra.
The Broncos have the option of playing Pangai as a starting lock in 2019 and Ofahengaue moving up to partner Lodge in the front row.
Test second-rower Matt Gillett is expected to return from injury in one starting second-row position with Su'A or Glenn to partner him.
The Broncos and Cowboys are yet to make any official statement on McGuire's future.