MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 06: Rory Laird of the Crows fends off Dustin Martin of the Tigers during the 2018 AFL round 16 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Adelaide Crows at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 06, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

AFL players have shown a willingness to welcome a pay cut for the 2021 season with the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 virus, with Adelaide the latest side to have their players facing a reduced salary for the upcoming season.

7News reporter Tom Browne revealed that the Crows have proposed a five per cent cut, leaving managers frustrated with the club given the 3.5 per cent cut mandated by the AFL.

While cuts have been made by other club’s in order to fit in a plethora of star names, the Crows were already working under the cap, adding further confusion to the club’s proposed further cuts.

Adelaide have lost a substantial amount of key figures across the past three years and will once again be under pressure to lock away several important players who currently remain unsigned past 2021.

Speaking on SEN SA Breakfast, Port Adelaide champion Kane Cornes questioned the Crows’ proposed new pay offering, stating it could further frustrate players at West Lakes.

“The managers of the Adelaide players aren’t happy with this, at all,” he said.

“Already the club is paying under (the full cap allowance), and now they’ve hit them with a further two per cent pay cut.

“Is it good business to annoy 21 players who are out of contract, when you’re trying desperately to retain players and your history of doing so has been really poor?

“I’m not sure Adelaide fit in the category, where the salary cap is bursting to the point that you need to take a cut.”

Crows star Rory Laird headlines a long list of off-contract players at the club, with Victorian clubs already showing strong interest in the Adelaide speedster.

Laird had an impressive season once again despite the club’s struggles in 2020, ranking top two at the club for disposals, tackles, inside 50’s and contested possessions in a move to the midfield.

Cornes revealed that the 27-year-old desires a long-term deal to remain at Adelaide, something two rivals have tabled while the Crows currently have a three-year deal on offer.

“The concerning one from a few calls I’ve made is Rory Laird,” Cornes revealed.

“Rory Laird wants to stay at the club, no doubt about it. South Australian boy, he’s happy there.

“He wants five years, and currently there’s two Victorian clubs with five years on offer, and Adelaide have a three year deal on the table.”

Matt Crouch, Tom Doedee, Reilly O’Brien, Daniel Talia, Jake Kelly, Tom Lynch, Taylor Walker and Fisher McAsey join Laird in remaining unsigned for the 2022 season, along with 11 other players.