Damien Hardwick should be the AFL’s highest paid coach, according to former Essendon captain Tim Watson.

Hardwick enters 2018 out of contract, but after he led Richmond to a drought-breaking premiership last season, re-signing him is a no brainer.

“I would give him three years and I think you need to make him the top-paid coach in the competition, so it would be between $800 thousand and $1 million,” Watson said on SEN Breakfast.

“When you look at where he is right now, he is at the top of his game, he is a premiership coach and they have a fairly young list.

“All the key planks are there for the football club to have a dynasty and sustained success.

“Why would you not put him in as the coach for the next three-to-four years?”

This season will be Hardwick’s ninth as senior coach of the Tigers, and he is on track to break records in the head honcho chair at Punt Road.

He has coached 182 games for Richmond, and if he remains, as expected, on board for a further two-to-three seasons at least, Hardwick will surpass Jack Dyer’s 222 games and be close to Tom Hafey’s 248.

Tigers CEO Brendon Gale told Channel 7 last night that a contract extension is on the way for Hardwick.

“We would like to see Damien coaching us for several years to come,” he said.

Hardwick has a 50.5 percent win-loss record throughout his coaching tenure at Richmond.

Originally published on SEN.com.au

SEN Breakfast with Garry Lyon & Tim Watson airs from 6am-9am from Monday-Friday on SEN 1116.