Collingwood star forward Travis Cloke came close to walking out on the AFL club before the Magpies caved in and gave him a five-year contract.
But Collingwood are confident the long-term deal which secures the 25-year-old until the end of 2017 won't stop them also tying up other players, such as midfielder Sharrod Wellingham, who remain unsigned.
The Magpies' unwillingness to offer the 25-year-old anything longer than four years had been the big sticking point throughout protracted negotiations.
Carlton, now coached by Cloke's former Magpies premiership coach Mick Malthouse, and Fremantle had been keen to swoop.
But six days after Collingwood's season ended in a preliminary final loss to Sydney, they have reached terms with Cloke.
The Magpies also signed defender Harry O'Brien on a new two-year deal, leaving Wellingham, Tyson Goldsack and Andrew Krakouer as the most notable players still unsecured for next season.
Collingwood director of football Geoff Walsh said Wellingham was currently weighing up an offer and Cloke's deal left salary cap room to keep the list together.
"By Travis signing or any other player signing it's not in any way, shape or form meaning that another player is going to be forced out," Walsh said.
Cloke's manager Ralph Carr said Cloke could have been much better paid had he left, but it was the length of the deal that ensured he stayed.
"Had he left the club he would have probably made $1 million plus more. I think he was pretty close (to leaving)," Carr told Melbourne's SEN radio.
"We always wanted him to stay there, but there was going to be an issue if he did not get the fifth year.
"That is public knowledge. If he didn't get the fifth year there would have been a strong chance that he would have left.
"It did get close."
Walsh said the five-year term demonstrated the Magpies' great faith in Cloke, although it came with conditions.
"The final year is not unencumbered. There are conditions that will remain a matter for Collingwood and Travis, but clearly both parties are comfortable with them," Walsh said.
Cloke will be 30 by the time he completes his new deal, most likely making him a career Magpie.
The big forward had a patchy season but still kicked 59 goals in 25 games, led the AFL in contested marks and was one of the Magpies' best in two of their three finals.