Them what has, gits. Or, so goes the old saying we are employing to comment on a rumoured $1.6 million offer tabled by the Essendon Bombers in an attempt to lure restricted free agent, Dustin Martin, from the Richmond Tiger fold, goes.
The Bombers denied that they would be crazy enough to pay anyone that sort of money. Their statement, in part, said, “Essendon Football Club can categorically confirm that no offer has been made to Dustin Martin or his management and reports suggesting otherwise are unfounded.”
That sort of money would have dwarfed anything previously seen, and were it for real, Martin would have been quick to snap it up, or foolish to turn it down.
The Bombers, like many other clubs, we might add, have a significant number of players coming out of contract. Some, such as high-octane youngster Joe Daniher, come out at the end of 2018 and will be looking to earn major salary increases.
Even though nothing but a rumour at this point, the mega-offer to Martin will force the Tigers’ hand, er, paw, and put them on the hook for at least $1 million to retain Martin.
As a restricted free agent, the Tigers have the right to match any offer Martin receives, but precedent is against them, as no club has managed to match a free agency offer and retain their player.
With all the players the Bombers stand to lose in the next several years, including stars Jobe Watson and others, they could potentially have the cap room to make Dustin Martin the richest AFL player in history.
To Martin we would say, “Mate, you may enjoy all the running and contact, but if you can truly put boot to ball and want to make serious amounts of filthy lucre for kicking a ball, you could easily earn north of $AUD3 million as an NFL punter. No one would be permitted to contact you either, and your workload for an entire NFL season would be about 10 minutes.”