Shaun Johnson says leaving his hometown club the Warriors was difficult and it would have been easy to stay with them.
Johnson has joined Cronulla after asking for a release from the final year of his contract at the Warriors.
The halfback was the star attraction at Mt Smart Stadium and had spent his whole career at the club.
He told NRL.com he didn't leave the Warriors because he wanted more money.
"People want to talk about why they believe I left – it was 'he wanted to chase the money' or 'he's a sook and wanted out," Johnson said.
"The easy thing to do would be to stay. I had one year left there, my family is there and I could have just stayed there, played a year and hunted for a contract next year. This was no easy decision.
"It was never an easy decision to ask the Warriors for a release, something I thought I'd never do. And then to be granted it, come to Sydney the next day, it's just been crazy, honestly, it's off its head.
"I probably could have stayed one year, but how engaged and how much contribution I was able to give after hearing what had been said and knowing how the Warriors felt about me, that was the bit that made me go 'I don't want to waste a year because we don't have too long in this game'."