Geelong have tabled a lucrative contract worth nearly $4.5 million for GWS Giants star Jeremy Cameron, who is a restricted free agent this off-season.
Cameron’s free agency has led to intense speculation about how far the Giants will go in order to retain the 2019 Coleman Medallist, who was recruited as a teenager when the club was still in its infancy.
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The powerhouse forward has been with the club for the entirety of its development from cellar-dwellars to grand finalists, but the Giants face an uphill battle to retain Cameron’s services after the Cats tabled a massive five-year deal reportedly worth roughly $900,000 per year.
The deal contains various performance incentives and the option of a sixth year if Cameron plays 14 games or more in the final year of the deal.
The Giants had already tabled a five-year deal of their own, which was reportedly worth $3.5 million, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Cameron from requesting a trade to the Cats.
They could yet become the first team to match a rival’s offer for a restricted free agent since the AFL brought in free agency at the end of 2012.
GWS Giants mulling over Jeremy Cameron options
Former GWS Giants list manager and AFL great Stephen Silvagni told AFL Trade Radio the Giants should consider matching the offer, even though it was significantly higher than their own.
He said there would be an element of ‘humiliation’ in seeing their most recognisable player poached by a premiership rival.
“I think with the Giants, depending on what the amount is, they probably will match whatever the figure is,” Silvagni said on Friday afternoon, before Geelong’s offer was lodged.
“Unless it’s over a million dollars … but it probably won’t be.
“I think what will be embarrassing for the Giants is that if he’s actually left for less money than what the Giants have offered for him.
“I’ve got no doubt that they have to match the offer and I’m pretty sure whatever way, even if they did match the offer, they’d be able to fit him in cap and do something with their total player payments to get a better deal out of it.”
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