ST KILDA’S incentive and trigger-laden contract for Brad Crouch has hurt Adelaide’s bid for first round compensation.
The Saints yesterday tabled their contract offer for Crouch with the AFL, giving the Crows until 5pm Wednesday to decide whether to match the deal for the restricted free agent.
While the league hasn’t formally announced the compensation, Adelaide has been told it would receive a second-round pick – No.23 – for Crouch.
Crows head of football Adam Kelly last week told AFL Trade Radio that the club would be “looking for a better outcome” if they didn’t get pick two.
Kelly added that Crouch would happy to return to play for Adelaide, but the player is very much picturing life at Moorabbin where he is excited about the Saints journey and is role in it.
Despite widespread reports, SEN.com.au can reveal Crouch stands to earn more than $700,000 a season at St Kilda.
But the Crows have been hurt by the fact the AFL only accepts guaranteed money as a starting point in determining its compensation.
Crouch’s St Kilda contract is for four years with a trigger for a fifth. It is a low games-played trigger, but it is in the deal.
There is also games-played incentives for Crouch, which also have a low threshold, but again takes money off the guaranteed table for a player who has, at times, struggled to stay injury-free.
Given the AFL’s compensation secrecy, historical cases are often brough up as a reference point.
Brandon Ellis last year left Richmond for Gold Coast on a contract worth $600,000 a year for five years at the same age as Crouch – 26 – and the Tigers received a second-round compensation pick – No.39.
When Tom Rockliff departed Brisbane for Port Adelaide at the end of 2017 at 27 on a four-year contract worth around $650,000, the Lions received an end-of-first-round compensation pick.
Essendon will this year receive a first-round compensation pick for Joe Daniher – No.7 – after the forward agreed to a reported three-year deal.
But the AFL says comparisons are flawed and that far more goes into the equation, starting with annual base payments and where that ranks against players aged 25 or older.
The annual base payment ranked against players of the same age is the Rival clubs are of the belief that the AFL simply doesn’t like the look of Brad Crouch’s departure netting Adelaide pick 2 in the draft.
But the gap between pick 2 and 23 is huge. If the Crows finished ninth, would a first-round compensation pick be an issue? You’d be forgiven for thinking no.