Once dismissed as watercooler gossip, the rumors have now been confirmed to be true.
"Totoo naman. Matagal na nga 'yun eh," Pogoy's agent Edgar Mangahas, who also represents newly-minted Elasto Painter Mac Belo, told me in a telephone interview last Tuesday.
While Mangahas wasn't eager to share how much the offers the TNT star is getting are worth, a source from one of the teams pursuing the sharpshooter told me how lucrative the package is.
It starts at P1.2 million a month in the first year. And if Roger does well as many expect him to do, his succeeding three-year extension will pay him P1.3 million, P1.4 million and P1,5 million a month, respectively.
Mikey Williams, Pogoy's teammate, received roughly the same offer sheet when his contract was up for renegotiation a few conferences ago, a deal which TNT reportedly matched, making the brilliant but erratic Williams one of the highest-paid players in the PBA.
Asked if his client will take the first flight out to Japan once his contract expires, Manghas thinks otherwise.
"LOYAL SI ROGER SA TNT. IT'S THE ONLY PBA TEAM HE HAS PLAYED WITH SINCE TURNING PRO"
When I reached Roger on the phone, he too, sounded unswayed by the pot of gold he could grab in the Land of the Rising Sun. He was even reluctant to do the interview because he was wary of "baka magalit ang TNT."
In a separate interview, TNT boss Chot Reyes, who is on leave from the team to focus on Gilas Pilipinas, told me that Pogoy has a live contract until the end of the year.
"But we won't let it expire. We are working to extend him for two more years."
Pogoy's current contract isn't anywhere near Japan's offers but it ain't cheap, either.
According to a source with knowledge on the situation, Pogoy has a max deal that goes way, way up once bonuses, incentives and a five-figure living allowance kick in.
In light of reports that Converge unrestricted free agent Maverick Ahanmisi is demanding P900,000 a month, Pogoy's insistence on staying home for less is admirable.
While the move can be viewed as a bad business decision, it can also be seen as a breath of fresh air in the league where many players have strayed in "ligang labas" games just to make an extra buck.
It reminds me of what Vic Sotto told reporters at a press conference that he is fine even if his collectibles of P30 million from TAPE Incorporate will remain unpaid.
"Hindi lahat nadadaan sa pera."