Kurt Capewell in action for Cronulla in 2019.

Penrith have emerged as the frontrunner to sign one of the best free agents remaining in the NRL after offering Kurt Capewell a two-year deal.

NRL.com understands Capewell is strongly considering a switch to Penrith but St George Illawarra are also in the picture.

The 26-year-old would be a handy pick-up after salary cap pressure at Cronulla meant the Sharks could only offer him a one-year extension.

The Panthers have not made any official statement about Capewell's potential acquisition.

The back-rower's signature has been one of the most sought-after signings in the off-season with the Wests Tigers also understood to have been among those to have expressed interest over the past few months.

Capewell enjoyed his best season in 2019, playing every game for the Sharks and earning a call-up into Queensland Origin camp as a reserve player for games one and two.