Journalist John Ralph says GWS should follow Collingwood’s lead and drop the salary cap to rejuvenate a list lacking “A-graders”.
The Giants are 16th with five wins heading into 2022 – with coach Leon Cameron an early casualty.
Speaking on Fox Footy’s On The Couch, Ralph said the GWS salary cap reset was “officially on”, with more players set to be traded.
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“I think that instead of an exodus of players who want to run away from this club, I think we need to fix the salary issue once and for all,” he said.
If you’re going to do it over three or four years, make the tough decisions now.
“Josh Kelly’s contract is at some point at $1.2 million – he’s back, Nick Haynes is over $800,000 next year – it’s over. This is the club’s decision, but they can fix it now.
“It’s going to be inside center; Jacob Hopper, Tanner Bruhn, Bobby Hill as a small forward, I think for Collingwood.
“The Giants would love to keep Tim Taranto as a middle forward, but he wants to play inside center, but they’re not going to take him out.
“If someone wants to pay Heine’s salary, I think he’s available.”
Ralph says Lachie Whitfield exit rumors are ‘untrue’ and Tom Green will stay at the club.
“Lachie Whitfield won’t be part of the trade … He’s had a really bad ankle since the 8th round that needs surgery but he’s fighting,” he said.
“Tom Green is happy, under contract, part of those 14 players (called up by interim coach Mark McVeigh) and it brings the assumption that he’s not going to be there.
“Collingwood has lost its flag. Leaving the salary limit after two years. I think it took one more year, but they’re going to do something about it and it’s going to have a ripple effect.
“Somewhere over a million bucks next year and likely years to come.”
The departures of Ralph Hopper, Brune, Hill and Taranto still leave the Giants with the likes of Stephen Coniglio, Kelly, Green and Whitfield.
And it frees up some space to target an A-grader like Collingwood’s Brodie Grundy.
“They have three heirs worth $1 million – none of them A-graders,” Ralph said.
“You make a tough decision to bring in Brody Grundy, you pay him $1 million and you have A-graders, difference makers.
“They could make room for a key forward. It’s not because they have a lot of stars, they’re an unbalanced roster that’s why they wanted to bring in a key forward and maybe a rookie.”