The parties had been in dialogue for several months about a new deal.
On Saturday, Townsend told NRL.com that he was ‘confident’ he would re-sign with the Sharks but would do what was best for his family.
“I’m confident that something will happen [with the Sharks] but it is a bit of a process,” he said.
“It’s rugby league, so we’ll see what happens. I’d love to stay and I think the club knows that but I’m at the point now where I’ve got to make the right decision for myself.
“I’ve got two kids now and a wife at home – I need to make sure that I put them first in the decision. I love playing here but it’s a pretty big decision in terms of where I’m at in my career.”
In other deals, however, the Sharks have lost two of their most valuable forwards.
Kurt Capewell has signed with Penrith and Matt Prior has done a deal with Leeds, which will allow Trent Merrin to return to the Dragons.
Meanwhile, the Roosters have re-signed powerhouse prop Siosiua Taukeiaho until at least the end of 2022. The 27 year old is one of the world’s best frontrower and his retention comes just a week after fellow Test star Jared Waerea-Hargreaves recommitted to the premiers.
“I love this club and it’s a big honour to be part of the team here at the Roosters,” Taukeiaho said.
“Robbo (Trent Robinson) and the coaches have done a lot for me, and with all the staff, we’re like one big family so I’m very happy to extend my time here.”
Robinson was pleased the Tongan co-captain opted to stay put.
“Siua has worked really hard to get to where he is, and he is always looking at ways to be better,” Robinson said.
“He is developing into a strong leader and it’s really pleasing to have Siua locked in to our club’s long-term plans.”
And Melbourne has become salary cap compliant in 2020 after releasing Brodie Croft and Curtis Scott to Brisbane and Canberra respectively.
Adrian Proszenko is the Chief Rugby League Reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald.