Hawthorn star could be the game’s next million dollar man.
Greater Western Sydney coach Kevin Sheedy said the club should attempt to land the biggest name in the free agent market and bring Lance Franklin to the Giants from next year.
The respected coach said, given Franklin’s potential value to the Giants, he would be willing to pay him $1.3 million a year to leave Waverly Oval.
If the Giants were able to land their man it would prove to be a marketing masterstroke along with providing the competiton’s newest team with a key forward.
The difference between attempting to snare Franklin, and the much-publicised move of rugby league convert Israel Folau to the AFL, is that the man better known as Buddy has a proven pedigree in the code along with the profile to match.
Ironically, Sheedy said the money saved by Folau leaving the club could help them land Franklin.
“If it was my advice and it was on the table, I would say go after him,” Sheedy said.
“If you have a package of money left after (Israel) Folau (left), then you get it right.
“And then you might have a (Tony) Lockett. And that injection into Sydney would be fantastic – it would absolutely enormous.”
Franklin has put off contract talks with Hawthorn until the end of the year increasing the chances of speculation as to where his future will actually lie.
While the reported value of the Giants’ offer would make Franklin one of the best paid players in the competition, it may not help him as a player in the short-term.
Playing as a forward, Franklin has been able to get excellent service from the Hawks’ midfield in recent seasons as it has been consistently one of the best in the AFL.
While the players on the Giants’ roster are talented, thanks to the club getting a glut of top picks in the draft, they are still understanding the game at the top, and as a result, Franklin might have to shoulder more of the load in Sydney.
Hawthorn recently resigned Sam Mitchell to a new deal, however, the club said they would not sacrifice a large portion of their roster just to keep Franklin a Hawk.