Brodie Grundy’s future is unlikely to be determined until next year as the Collingwood ruckman looks set to command a six or seven-year deal worth more than $1 million a season.
Superstar Collingwood ruckman Brodie Grundy looks set to defer contract talks until next year and become one of the two most sought-after free agents in the game.
Grundy, 25, is widely considered one of the AFL’s most influential players and should command a blockbuster six or seven-year deal in excess of $1 million a season.
The dominant big man firmed into TAB’s $11 sixth-favourite to win the Brownlow Medal after he won the best-on-ground medal in Collingwood’s nine-point victory over Western Bulldogs on Sunday.
Collingwood list chief Ned Guy has started talks with Grundy’s manager, Robbie D’Orazio, but neither party is in a rush.
The best-and-fairest winner remains contracted until the end of next year.
It means the mega deal could be put off until early next season as the Pies manage a bulging salary cap.
The Magpies landed Dayne Beams from the Lions last season and soon will have to find room to retain stars Jordan De Goey and Darcy Moore and out-of-contract ballwinner Brayden Sier.
Grundy and Greater Western Sydney spearhead Jeremy Cameron are both out of contract next year and will be in high demand as clubs circle the superstars.
Grundy and Cameron qualify for free agency next year, so rival clubs can secure them without giving up anything in a trade.
Geelong is eyeing Cameron, who is five goals clear in the Coleman Medal race.
Grundy showcased his matchwinning abilities against the Dogs, turning the game for Collingwood with a brilliant second half.
He became the first player in AFL history to gather 50 hit outs, 25 disposals and two goals in a game.
While Grundy was widely considered best on ground by former greats in the media, coach Nathan Buckley disagreed, saying the star big man started slowly.
His comments were backed when Grundy and Bulldogs utility Caleb Daniel were split with seven votes each in the AFL Coaches Association awards.
“He was right off in the first half, but he responded after half time,” Buckley said.
“We spoke fairly sternly at half time. But not just the coaches, the players weren’t satisfied.
“I didn’t have Brodes as the best player on the ground.”
Essendon spearhead Joe Daniher will also be a free agent next year as he looks to re-establish his contract value after back-to-back debilitating groin injuries.
Former Adelaide captain Mark Bickley said the Crows should throw the kitchen sink at Grundy, from South Australia.
Adelaide is yet to make a move for the Pies’ ruckman.
The Crows have been thrilled with the form of 23-year-old Reilly O’Brien, who has leapfrogged Sam Jacobs as the club’s No. 1 ruckman.