MELBOURNE may be basking in the afterglow of a drought-breaking premiership right now, but a salary cap crunch is on the horizon, according to Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes.
Grand Final stars Clayton Oliver (out of contract in 2023) and six-goal hero Bayley Fritsch (2022) are among the players who could be set for a significant pay rise.
"Clayton Oliver is a million-dollar player," Cornes said on Continental Tyres AFL Trade Radio.
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"They'll be looking to renegotiate him probably at the end of next year. He's going to need probably a million dollars for what he's worth, so how much of a sacrifice these premiership players can now make, when they're all deserving of a massive increase in salary.
"For Kozzy Pickett and Luke Jackson, coming off those first four years in the league, then you're looking for a massive bump in salary, so it's going to be a real challenge for them.
"They've already committed to Christian Petracca, Max Gawn's going to need big money, Steven May and Jake Lever are on big money, Jack Viney's on a long-term deal, James Harmes signed for four years, not on big money, but it all adds up.
"[Fritsch] kicked six in a Grand Final, hasn't been done since Darren Jarman, he's kicked 59 goals for the year, that's more than any other player. He's a genuine match-winner. And how many match-winning forwards are there?
PERFECT PETRACCA, FANTASTIC FRITSCH Every Demon rated out of 10
"He's worth 700 grand. It's what Richmond have done, what Hawthorn did, and Geelong – how many great Geelong players played for half their worth?"