Trent Cotchin's bombshell Dustin Martin claim as teammate Liam Baker makes telling move

The retired Richmond great declared a further break-up of the Tiger dynasty is coming at the end of 2024.

Retired Richmond great Trent Cotchin believes one if not both of star Tigers duo Dustin Martin and Liam Baker will part ways with the club at the end of 2024. The Richmond premiership captain says a further break-up of the Tiger dynasty is coming and he is of the belief that both players may seek pastures new at the end of the season.

Three-time Norm Smith medallist Martin becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2024 season and has heavily been linked to a reunion with former mentor Damien Hardwick at the Suns. While Baker is being courted by both Western Australian clubs as he looks to return home to Perth.

Pictured L-R: Trent Cotchin, Dustin Martin and Liam Baker
Retired Richmond great Trent Cotchin has declared Tigers duo Dustin Martin and Liam Baker will likely not be at the club in 2025. Image: Getty

Cotchin, a long-time teammate of both players, says in his opinion Martin will either retire or seek a new challenge in 2025. While he believes the money being thrown at Baker will be too much for the Tiger to resist. "I believe that one of them, if not both, will not be in Richmond colours next year," Cotchin said on Seven’s Talking Footy on Wednesday night.

"With Baker, the numbers that I’m hearing being thrown around from the west are pretty significant.” Baker met with both West Coast in Fremantle in 2022 before deciding to re-sign with the Tigers on a two-year deal.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 24: Trent Cotchin (left) and Dustin Martin of the Tigers celebrate during the 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final match between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats at The Gabba on October 24, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Trent Cotchin says a further break-up of the Tiger dynasty is coming.

Speculation is mounting that Baker is heading out the door at the end of the season after he recently purchased a multimillion-dollar home in Perth. However, unlike Martin, he isn't an unrestricted free agent, meaning if West Coast or Fremantle were to sign him they would need to trade for him.

Cotchin’s prediction that Martin and Baker could both leave comes on the same day it emerged that teammate Daniel Rioli met up with Hardwick in Queensland. It has been reported that Rioli toured the Suns headquarters while on a trip up north during the club's bye. The 27-year-old defender is contracted to Richmond until the end of the 2027 season.


Dustin Martin's manager denies retirement speculation

While many have suggested that Martin may hang up his boots at the end of 2024, last week his manager shut down such speculation. Ralph Carr moved to squash all the rumours around his future in the AFL saying he still has more to give. "Dustin at this point has no intention of retiring, and he has never lost his love for AFL football," he told The Herald Sun.

"The Richmond Football Club, the AFL and family has been an incredible support to him and I personally know that he wants to stay in the game as long as possible. I also want to thank all supporters of the game for supporting ‘the people’s champion’ Dustin Martin."

However, former AFL player Matthew Lloyd claimed the Richmond great would need to earn a new contract at the club after below-par performances for the Tigers in 2024. "He had 13 disposals in a game of footy (in the Tigers' loss to West Coast last weekend). I know he was coming back and he has had his few niggles, but I think they have to do it on their terms and watch Dustin for the rest of the year. Watch Dustin's body language and watch how hard he wants to work on the field," Lloyd said on Footy Classified.

"Challenge him on his motivation levels. He has achieved everything there is to achieve in the game. But do you still want it badly enough...otherwise could we spend our money more wisely."