SEN Chief Sports Reporter Sam Edmund says Essendon has “every right” to be confident in-demand restricted free agent Zach Merrett will re-sign with the club.
The 25-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and has still yet to make a decision whether to re-sign with the Bombers or not.
In a feature interview with the Herald Sun, a candid Merrett opened up on why he has still yet to make a call on his future beyond 2021.
Edmund said Merrett wanted to see stability across all facets of the club before penning a new deal, saying that it was more likely than not that the on-baller would eventually re-commit his future to Essendon.
“(Zach Merrett is) obviously the most in-demand free agent,” he said on SEN’s Crunch Time.
“(Marcus) Bontempelli is going to re-sign, (Patrick) Cripps will too, Dylan Grimes and Max Gawn already have.
“He wants stability – he’s had five coaches in his six or seven years at Essendon and last year was a mess at the Bombers. John Worsfold’s power empowerment model didn’t work and the players actually wanted the guidance that wasn’t there.
“They’ve reconnected to the past, embraced their history and even more so, there’s a real optimism about the next generation of players that they’ve brought in.
“Acknowledging that these things can go either way, I think Essendon has every right to be as confident as they possibly can be that Zach Merrett will stay and I think if you’re a betting person then Zach Merrett does stay.”
Gerard Whateley said he admired the stance Merrett took in the interview, saying Essendon fans should take “great reassurance” about the way he was approaching contract negotiations.
“His holding statement is ‘I haven’t made up my mind’ which I really like about him,” he said.
“It’s so straight forward then way that he talks about it, you take great reassurance if you’re an Essendon fan if (he’s going to be) that straight and down about it when the time comes (to make a decision).”