The AFL revealed six players earned a million dollars in 2018 and the general consensus is that those six players were Lance Franklin, Tom Lynch (Gold Coast), Nathan Fyfe, Dustin Martin, Tom Boyd and Jeremy Cameron.
Former St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt has gone through the six to work out both whether their clubs were right in paying them that much money and whether they’ve lived up to the price tag.
“Lance Franklin is obviously a big tick,” Riewoldt told SEN’s Whateley.
“It was absolutely right to pay the best player in the game at the time and still currently.
“He has absolutely been value for money and delivered on what he’s receiving financially.”
“I think they were absolutely right to pay him at the time,” Riewoldt said.
“Whether he’s delivered value for money, you would have to say probably not because he was captain of the club, he was injured and then he left.
“At the time, they were absolutely right to pay him and he wouldn’t be in that category moving forward at Richmond.
“He’d be coming back a fair way to slot into their line-up.”
“He’s delivered. He’s a marquee player, a hometown boy, so they were right to pay him so he’s performed and lived up to the expectation,” he said.
“It’s a pretty easy one … he’s probably underpaid,” the six-time Saints B&F winner said.
“He had arguably the greatest season of all-time by a player where they went on and won the flag.”
“He’s an interesting one. I think they were right to pay him because at the time he looked destined to be an absolute superstar,” Riewoldt said.
“I think he’s a very good player, but as of now, I don’t think he’s delivered on that price tag.
“Whether it’s injuries, suspension, consistent performance, I still think he’s got some work to do to justify that tag.
“You look at the fallout as well. They’ve lost a number of players, not all for financial reasons, but Dylan Shiel you can point to as a player they’ve lost because of the financial squeeze and I think Cameron will want a big year this year to justify that price tag.”
“This is a hard one to wrap your head around because there’s obviously the really good Grand Final performance in amongst poor to average games,” he said.
“So what’s a premiership worth? If you had to overpay a player knowing they’d deliver on the biggest day and get you over the line, but then you’d be stuck with them for five years at a lofty tag, I think clubs would take it.
“It’s probably been worth it based on that one performance.
“No doubt (it’s a burden on him). Players talk. Teammates talk about what players are earning and if they’re earning more than they should, that would be a really difficult situation for Tom to be in.”