HAWTHORN captain Luke Hodge says he wouldn’t blame Lance Franklin if he was to accept a lucrative offer from Greater Western Sydney and leave the Hawks.

Speculation has raged about Franklin joining the AFL’s newest club, despite Hawthorn offering him an improved five-year deal that is potentially the biggest in the club’s history.

But Hodge said he could understand the dilemma Franklin was facing.

“There’s a lot of pros and cons for either staying or going,” Hodge told Crocmedia’s Sportsday program.

“No doubt it’s a lot of money that they’re offering and you couldn’t blame a bloke if he was to head off with such a lucrative deal.

“It sets up him and his family, he is a very generous person and he looks after his family well.

“But on the flip side, there are a lot of bonuses for staying at our footy club and we’re at a pretty exciting time at this stage.

“We’re confident that he’ll stay, but that will be up to Buddy towards the end of the year and what he decides.

“It’s a very nice deal apparently. Good on him, he’s been one of the best players for a number of years and as Gary (Ablett) got paid what he deserved, if Buddy stays then he’s obviously still getting a lot of money at the footy club.

“It’s a big decision and I don’t think any of the boys can blame him either way for what he does.”

Hodge also said Franklin was performing admirably on the field, and stressed his performance wasn’t purely based on the number of goals he kicked each week.

“As far as a teammate and what he’s been doing this year I’ve been very impressed,” Hodge said.

“Obviously there’s been a bit of pressure put on him, a lot of media at the start of the year were saying he wasn’t kicking the goals.

“But we look a lot deeper than that and the goals that he’s set up and the team stuff that he has been doing has been sensational.

“I’ve been rapt that the media in the last few weeks has actually understood the selfless stuff that he’s been doing for the team.”