PLAYERS could be in line for a bumper pay rise of up to 20 per cent this year alone, as drawn-out negotiations with AFL powerbrokers near a conclusion.
AFL Players' Association chief executive Paul Marsh will update delegates from all clubs on Tuesday, ahead of the group's official season launch in Melbourne.
The new deal could see the salary cap catapult above $12 million for the first time, well up from its current $10.37 million.
While the finer points of a new collective bargaining agreement covering all 815 AFL-listed players are still to be signed off, AFL.com.au understands all parties are hoping to have a deal done, at least in principle, by the season opener on March 23.
AFL Players' Association chief executive Paul Marsh updated delegates from all clubs on Tuesday, and spoke to reporters at the group's season launch on Tuesday night.
"The numbers that are being thrown around haven't been agreed (upon) but what I will say is we have been having constructive discussions weekly,” Marsh said.
The AFL said the figures are purely speculation.
"We do not comment on negotiations, but it is not correct to say that a deal is soon to be done on the figures speculated today," an AFL spokesperson said.
Representatives of the players' association have been meeting with AFL officials every Monday in recent weeks as talks advance.
Final figures and specific clauses are still being worked out, but sources have given AFL.com.au an indication of where the final numbers are likely to land.
Under the scenario being discussed, the approximate 20 per cent increase in year one could be followed by another rise of up to 10 per cent in 2018, and then increases of roughly 3 per cent for the following three years.
The pay increase factors in former veterans allowance payments, which were previously not included in the overall salary cap, and means exact increases will vary slightly from club to club.
Without counting this money, the average increase would be in the range of 16 per cent.
What remains unclear is what happens in the sixth year of the new media rights agreement.
It could be in the players' interests to leave the sixth year up for negotiation as the sports media landscape will have evolved significantly by then.
The likely resolution means players have compromised on the fight for a set percentage of revenue, instead agreeing to a deal to reap the reward from any unexpected injection of funds into AFL coffers.
At the time of the last CBA negotiations, players scored a 7 per cent pay rise in the first year of the deal.
The bump is being funded by the AFL's record $2.508 billion six-year media rights deal with Foxtel, Channel Seven and Telstra.
The media rights deal expires at the end of 2022.