PORT Adelaide superstar Connor Rozee is poised to sign a monster eight-year contract extension as the Power look to lock in the midfield gun for his career.
Rozee is already signed for 2024 but AFL.com.au can reveal discussions have progressed with the 23-year-old on the verge of inking the massive new deal, which will be the biggest and most lucrative in Port history.
The back-to-back All-Australian was already contracted for next season, with the new contract extension understood to be set to take him through to the end of 2032. It will see Rozee join Western Bulldogs forward Aaron Naughton as the holders of the longest contracts in the AFL and run through to when Rozee is 32 years old.
The contract will follow the commitment of fellow Port Adelaide gun Zak Butters, who last week inked a two-year contract through to the end of 2026, when he will reach free agency.
The free agency factor will also be a part of Rozee's long-term commitment, given it will take him past his eight-year mark when stars of the game usually ink the major deal of their careers.
Viewed in a different way, the eight-year deal can be looked at as two more years through to Rozee's free agency and then six years beyond that, with six-year terms becoming standard rate for the best free agents. This year, Darcy Parish, Harry Himmelberg and Ben McKay all signed six-year free agency deals to either stay at their clubs or move.
Clubs also often use long-term deals to structure them fluidly throughout the contract, allowing them to front or back-end payments depending on salary cap situations so to not restrict trade activity or limit the acquisitions of other players.
Rozee is also set to join the million-dollar player club through the course of the deal, particularly given it will cross over two different collective bargaining agreements (the new players pay deal runs through to the end of 2027). A record 12 players earned more than a million dollars in 2022 but clubs expect there to be a significant rise in players reaching that mark after the pay deal signed this year, with some list bosses anticipating three per club.
The impending Rozee re-signing also points to his position as a leader of the Power, with the 2022 best-and-fairest winner long viewed as a future captain of the club.
The Power's No.5 pick from the star-studded 2018 draft intake has played 106 of a possible 112 games since making his debut in round one, 2019.
His partnership with Butters was significant in Port's jump back into the finals this year and his connection with coach Ken Hinkley has been crucial in his development as one of the competition's matchwinners and in pledging long-term to the club.
The pair's fellow young midfield star Jason Horne-Francis is signed at the Power until the end of 2028. Having Butters re-signed and Rozee's deal close sees Port tick off two of its key contract priorities for next year before 2024, with tall forward Todd Marshall a remaining important signing as he hits his free agency year.
Midfielder Willem Drew, who was due to reach free agency in 2024, also re-signed this week for another four years, while young key forward Ollie Lord agreed to a two-year extension after attracting rival interest in the Trade Period.