ZACH Merrett will be a Bomber for life after signing a massive six-year contract at Essendon.
The Bombers’ restricted free agent has turned his back on rival interest to re-sign with the club until the end of 2027 on a deal believed to be worth up to $5 million.
The 25-year-old considered his future at the end of last season and weighed up a move with rivals Carlton and Collingwood circling, but wanted to assess the direction of the Bombers under coach Ben Rutten before making a call on his future.
He has done that now, inking a mega deal during the club’s bye period that will ensure the two-time best and fairest is set to be a one-club player.
The Bombers had offered him a five-year deal at the end of last year however Merrett was keen to wait before recommitting.
It leaves the Bombers’ next contract priorities as in-form midfield gun Darcy Parish and forward Jake Stringer, with Stringer searching for a four-year deal and Parish starting talks deeper into the season.
Merrett’s signature is a coup for the Bombers and Rutten. The important midfielder was re-added to the club’s leadership group for this season and will again be in Therabody All-Australian conversations after averaging 31 disposals so far this year.
He has played 154 games across his career out of a possible 164 and been a constant member of Essendon’s line-up since he was drafted with pick 26 at the 2013 NAB AFL Draft where he joined his brother Jackson at the club.