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Hodge in no hurry to sign, but always a Hawk

The captains speak A full wrap as AFL captains front the cameras ahead of the season.
Luke Hodge poses with students at Sorell Primary School during the Hawthorn Hawks 2013 Community Camp in Hobart. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Luke Hodge with students from Sorell Primary School in Hobart
They leave all the old boys until last
Luke Hodge
LUKE Hodge was one of seven Hawthorn players on the AFL's free agents list released last week, but supporters of the club need not fear.
 
The Hawks skipper says he won't be leaving Waverley even though he expects to be asked to take a pay cut.
 
With high profile teammate and fellow free agent Lance Franklin's decision to delay talks on a new deal dominating the headlines, Hodge's contract status has received little attention – even from the man himself.
 
The 28-year-old said he was yet to receive a new offer and had barely given it consideration.
 
"They leave all the old boys until last," Hodge said on Tuesday.
 
"To be honest, I haven't really thought about it.
 
"First of all I'll get back on the park, and then we'll go from there.
 
"I'm in no urgent need to [sign]; I know where I'm going to be next year, so I'm fairly comfortable at the moment."
 
Hodge, a Norm Smith medallist, three-time All Australian and dual club best and fairest winner, admitted his biggest pay days were probably behind him.
 
"I think as you get older, it's been proven in the past that you're going to have to go lower so that the younger blokes coming through can get paid probably a little bit more than what they deserve," Hodge said.
 
But he said any pay cut wouldn't be about freeing salary cap space to help retain Franklin.
 
"The club have thrown 'Buddy' the best offer we can give with the blokes we've got on our list, so it's up to him to take his time this year, have a good think about it and see where his future wants to be," Hodge said.
 
"At the moment it's not [a distraction].
 
"If 'Buddy' can continue to do what we expect him to do, play the team game like he did on the weekend, that's all we expect as teammates."
 
Hodge said he had not been caught off guard by Franklin's decision to delay talks.
 
"You've got to expect it with free agency coming in, it's going to happen more and more," he said.
 
"Players have seen it coming for the last two or so years, so they expect it's going to happen more and more in the game."
 
Alongside Franklin and Hodge, the Hawks' other free agents are Max Bailey, Xavier Ellis, Brent Guerra, Sam Mitchell and Michael Osborne.
 
Luke Hodge is a midfielder in AFL Fantasy. He averaged 77.4 points in 2012. Register your team at our AFL Fantasy hub.