Did Collingwood make the right call handing Brodie Grundy a mega seven-year deal?
Kane Cornes doesn’t think so.
It was announced on Friday morning that Grundy had recommitted to the Magpies on a monster contract that will tie him to the club until the end of the 2027 season.
Cornes believes it is a risky proposition handing a big man such a long-term deal, also questioning the true value of a ruckman.
“Seven years and seven million for a ruckman who has had a heavy workload and is already banged up, what will he be like at the age of 34?” he told SEN’s The Captain’s Run.
“Are ruckmen that influential on the modern game? The best example of this is the 2019 Preliminary Final between the Giants and Collingwood, a game that Collingwood lost.
“Grundy’s numbers in that game were extraordinary. He won 73 hit-outs, 10 clearances, he had 25 disposals and the team clearance numbers, Collingwood won that 54 to 35.
“He was up against a player the Giants plucked out of retirement. Speaking of banged up, that’s what Shane Mumford was for the Giants, but they didn’t win. They lost that game despite those extraordinary numbers from Grundy.
“Ruckmen are still, I think, overrated in this game and you’re not going to give seven years, seven million to a ruckman.””
Cornes backed up his opinion by pointing to the last six premiers, who have all lacked a truly elite ruckman.
The best premiership ruckman over that period would likely be Ben McEvoy, who has never been an all Australian.
“Let’s go through the last six premiership winners in the AFL and who was the ruckman for those winning sides,” he said.
“None of these ruckmen, that are premiership ruckmen, I would think would be in the top 10 highest paid players at their club, let alone on a seven-year deal.
“We’ll start with (2012). Sydney won the flag. Their ruckman was a Canadian named Mike Pyke.
“In 2013, 2014 and 2015 the Hawthorn football club won the flag. David Hale and Ben McEvoy. A good player, McEvoy, but not a star.
“In 2016, the Bulldogs. Jordan Roughead was in ruck. He was a forward, he’s now a defender. He’s not a ruckman, but he was good enough to carry the Dogs to an historic premiership in that year.
“In 2017 Richmond won it. Toby Nankervis was in ruck. A good, solid citizen, a good recruit from Sydney who has been influential for the Tigers, but he is no star. His backup was a wingman by the name of Shaun Grigg.
“In 2018, West Coast. Nathan Vardy and Scott Lycett. They definitely weren’t their first choice ruckmen, Nic Naitanui was out injured.
“And in 2019 Nankervis was the premiership winning ruckmen.
“Good ruckmen don’t equate to premierships and that is what Collingwood are chasing.
“It is the wrong call to sign Grundy to a seven-year deal, as much as I love his off-field stuff and the way that he plays his footy, it is the wrong call.”
Did Collingwood make the right call re-signing Grundy on a seven-year deal?