Western Bulldogs CEO Ameet Bains has provided an update on Bailey Smith’s contract talks.
Plus the latest on Lance Franklin’s future as he nears the end of his nine-year mega deal.
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SMITH MOVING TOWARDS EXTENSION
Western Bulldogs star Bailey Smith is moving closer towards a contract extension with the club, according to CEO Ameet Bains.
Smith is currently serving a suspension for a two-match ban for illicit drug use in addition to his tw0-game headbutting ban, eligible to return in Round 18.
The Dogs have been busy in re-signing several out-of-contract stars in recent times including Tim English, Caleb Daniel and Bailey Dale, and now turn their attention to locking away Smith as well as Josh Dunkley.
It comes amid a career-best season from Smith, 21, averaging 31.6 disposals and 6.7 inside 50s per game.
And speaking on 3AW’s Sportsday, Bains said Smith’s indiscretions from last summer won’t have “too much impact” on his contract talks.
“The important bit is the incident was from last year,” he said on Sportsday.
“While the club didn’t have any knowledge of any vision of being in existence until last week, the period Bailey (Smith) was dealing with which lead to the poor decision making was something we knew about and dealt with at the time.
“To his credit, he’s put a lot of things in place over the last 6-8 months to deal with that and his on-field performance has reflected it.
“We have made a fair bit of progress with his manager Paul Connors in the last 2-3 weeks (on his contract beyond 2022) so hopefully that momentum can keep going.”
SWANS KEEN TO LOCK IN BUDDY EARLY ON REDUCED DEAL
Sydney is willing to hand Lance Franklin a contract extension by the end of the season despite the potential risk of injury in the back end of the campaign as the campaign, reports The Age.
The 35-year old is keen to play on in 2023 and prepared to take a pay cut to extend his tenure with the Swans as he nears the end of his mega nine-year, $10 million deal signed back in 2013.
Despite Franklin producing a strong season — sitting equal eight in the Coleman Medal with 29 goals and booting his 100th career major — a rival list manager estimates Franklin would only be worth around $400,000 next season given he 36 in January and wouldn’t have rivals driving up his value.
Franklin’s standing at the Swans, his on-field performance, club’s tight salary cap situation and his marketing value in a non-traditional football; city are all set to be factors in his contract.
It comes after Franklin was restricted to 10 games in 2018 and 2020 due to ongoing soft tissue injuries, with the club now more careful with how they manage his body and game time.
He’s played 29 of a possible 36 games since the start of 2021.