DUSTIN Martin's contract negotiations won't become a sideshow if Trent Cotchin has anything to do with it.
As Cotchin waits to be ratified as Richmond captain for a fifth season, he and his teammates are bracing themselves for a year of questions about the club's biggest star.
Martin becomes a restricted free agent at the end of this season and, through his agent Ralph Carr has made it clear he has no intention of deciding on his future until the final siren sounds on 2017.
However, unlike Patrick Dangerfield in the past, and even Nat Fyfe in the present, Martin isn't going to be the one constantly peppered with questions.
That's because he stays out of the media, perhaps more than any other high-profile player in the game.
"Well he's a footballer, he's not a media personality, and that's his job," Cotchin said on Thursday.
"He's a shy guy, he has a lot of things that are important to him but he doesn't need to share them in front of cameras and that's the way he feels."
Cotchin is confident Martin's future won't become a distraction to Richmond's quest to return to the finals after a disappointing 2016.
" I don't think it'll be a side show," Cotchin said.
"He's had a fantastic pre-season and I'm really looking forward to seeing what sort of footy he produces."
Cotchin, who is a close mate of Martin, even taking him in for a time as a housemate, believes the 25-year-old cops a bad rap in the media.
"I think they're very critical of him given some of his misdemeanors in the past, but I think if people knew the real Dusty they'd have different opinion of him," Cotchin said.
However, "the real Dusty" will likely remain a mystery to fans because of the extreme lengths his minders take to help keep him from talking publicly.