‘Are you fair dinkum?’ Hosts at war as $1.4m Dusty trade idea ‘dumbest argument ever heard’

A radical call to trade Richmond superstar Dustin Martin, and get him to take $100,000 to play an extra two seasons, has been shut down as “the dumbest argument ever heard.”

Martin is contracted to the end of 2024 on a back-loaded deal believed to be worth around $1.4 million next year.

The 31-year-old is in the twilight of his career and has previously been linked to a move away from Melbourne, with the Sydney Swans and Gold Coast Suns floated as destinations.

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But given the three-time premiership player is past his prime, the Tigers have been urged to trade Martin to free up salary cap space.

“He just can’t be at Richmond next year,” journalist Sam McClure said on Nine’s Footy Classified.

“They should have found a way to move him on the end of last year. He was keen on looking elsewhere. There were clubs that were coming with contracts for him.”

Kane Cornes said it would be a “big call” to dump Martin and open the Tigers to “backlash to trading one of your greatest ever”.

Dustin Martin is on big money at Richmond. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/AFL Photos/via Getty Images )Source: Getty Images

Martin is on track to notch up 300 games next season and will go down as one of Richmond’s best ever players.

“One of your greatest ever, legend in the Hall of Fame one day, can’t be at Richmond next year,” Cornes said.

“Why can’t he be there? It’s not as if he’s playing poorly. Is there a buyer?”

McClure said Martin leaving Richmond to play at another club “wouldn’t change his legacy one bit” but was crucial to freeing up salary cap space.

“He’s on $1.4 million Kane,” McClure said.

“This is the same club you’ve criticised for spending money on (Tim) Taranto and (Jacob) Hopper. They’ve got Dustin there on $1.4 million when they could have negotiated a trade to clear that salary cap.

“There is not one person at Richmond, not one supporter that would begrudge Dustin Martin for finishing his career somewhere else.”

McClure agreed trading Martin “looks bad now if they did it because it’s mixed messaging”. “I’m just saying going into next year with him being the age that he is on $1.4 million,” he said.

Dusty is taking up a lot of salary cap space. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

While Stuart Dew has the Gold Coast Suns in the hunt for a maiden finals appearance, former Tigers coach Damien Hardwick has been mentioned as a candidate to take over the Suns.

“I don’t think he’s a great choice for the Suns for where they are and the players they’ve got coming through,” co-host Craig Hutchison said.

“But you can understand from an AFL point of view, a marketing sense. I’m not sure the Suns and AFL would necessarily be aligned on this one. And it would need AFL money.”

But McClure insisted Martin could leave the Tigers and go to the Suns on significantly less money.

“Hutchy, you’re deal-maker and a modern thinker in this sense. His deal can be scrunched up like a piece of paper and thrown in the bin,” he said.

“Gold Coast Suns give him say three years at $500,000, just over the average salary. That gives his $1.5 million.”

Sam McClure thinks the Tigers should trade Dusty. Photo: Ch 9.Source: Channel 9
Hutchy shut down the trade talk. Photo: Ch 9Source: Channel 9

But Hutchison disagreed, firing back: “He’s going to play two more years and earn the same money? What commercial world are you living in? Are you fair dinkum?”

McClure: “Three years at 500 grand?”

Hutchison: “Versus $1.4 million? Give me a spell. That’s the dumbest argument I’ve ever heard.”

McClure: “Are you going to let me finish my sentence before you continue?”

Hutchison: “I don’t think it’s worth doing.”

Boom, mic drop. Hutchy 1, McClure 0.

Essendon great Matthew Lloyd said he believes Martin will “see out his career at Richmond”.

“Unless you’re thinking he’s going to help you win the flag, I don’t see how another club takes him next season,” Lloyd said.

“I don’t think the Suns should take Dustin Martin. I don’t think the Sydney Swans should take Dustin Martin.”