GWS need to follow Collingwood’s lead and commit to a salary cap dump in a bid to rejuvenate a list that’s missing “an A-grader”, according to journalist Jon Ralph.
The Giants are languishing in 16th position with just five wins for 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 a host of players set to be put up for trade.
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“I think rather than an exodus of players wanting to flee this club, I think it’s a really calculated decision by this club (that) we need to fix this salary cap issue once and for all,” he said.
“If you are going to do it, over three or four years, do it now with really tough decisions.
“Josh Kelly’s contract hits $1.2m at some stage – it’s back-ended, Nick Haynes next year is on over $800,000 – back-ended. That’s a decision the club’s made, but you can fix it right now.
“The inside mids will depart; Jacob Hopper, Tanner Bruhn, Bobby Hill as a small forward, I think to Collingwood.
“The Giants would love to keep Tim Taranto who can play as a medium forward, but he wants to play as an inside mid but they will not push him out.
“I think if someone wanted to pay Haynes’ salary, I think he’d be available.”
Ralph said rumors of a Lachie Whitfield exit were incorrect, and said Tom Green would remain at the club too.
“Lachie Whitfield will not be part of a trade … he’s had an ankle that’s been so bad since Round 8 he’s needed surgery but he’s battled on,” he said.
“Tom Green, happy, contracted, part of those 14 players (called out by caretaker coach Mark McVeigh) and that brings the speculation that he won’t be there.
Collingwood missed the flag. Two years later, the salary cap exodus. I think it’s taken one more year but they are going to do something about it and it’s going to cause a ripple effect.
“Over a million bucks of cap space over next year and potentially years to come as well.”
Ralph said the exits of Hopper, Bruhn, Hill and Taranto would still leave the Giants with the likes of Stephen Coniglio, Kelly, Green and Whitfield.
And it would free up some space to target an “A-grader” like Collingwood’s Brodie Grundy.
“They’ve got three ruckmen who are probably worth $1 million (combined) – none of them are A-graders,” Ralph said.
“Would you make strong decisions to bring in Brodie Grundy, pay him his $1 million and you’ve got A-graders, difference makers.
“You might create space for the key position forward. It’s not they’ve got too many stars, it’s they are an unbalanced list which is why they want to bring in a key position forward and maybe a ruckman.”