Western Bulldogs CEO Ameet Bains has provided an update on Bailey Smith’s contract negotiations.
Plus the latest on Lance Franklin’s future as he nears the end of his mega nine-year deal.
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SMITH MOVES TO EXPANSION
Western Bulldogs star Bailey Smith is close to a contract extension with the club, according to CEO Ameet Bains.
Smith is currently serving a two-game suspension for illegal drug use on top of his two-game headbutt suspension, which can return in round 18.
The Dogs have been busy signing several stars from outside of contract, including Tim English, Caleb Daniel and Bailey Dale, and are now turning their attention to locking Smith and Josh Dunkley away.
It comes amid a career-best season for Smith, 21, averaging 31.6 disposals and 6.7 within the 50s per game.
And speaking to 3AW’s Sportsday, Bains said Smith’s leaks last summer won’t have “too much of an impact” on his contract negotiations.
“The important thing is that the incident happened last year,” he said sports day.
“While the club was unaware of an existing vision until last week, the time Bailey (Smith) was dealing with that led to the poor decision making was something we knew about at the time and were dealing with.
“To his credit he’s set up a lot of things to deal with that over the past 6-8 months and his performance on the field has reflected that.
“We’ve made some progress with his manager Paul Connors over the last 2-3 weeks (on his contract beyond 2022) so let’s hope the momentum can continue.”
BLACK SWANS TO INCLUDE BUDDY EARLY ON REDUCED OFFER
Sydney is willing to grant Lance Franklin a contract extension until the end of the season despite the potential risk of injury in the back end of the campaign, the campaign reports Age.
Desperate to continue playing in 2023, the 35-year-old is willing to take a pay cut to extend his tenure with the Swans as he nears the end of his mega 9-year, $10 million contract , which was signed in 2013.
Although Franklin has had a strong season — with 29 goals in the eighth Coleman Medal and his 100th career major — one rival roster manager estimates Franklin would only be worth about $400,000 next season since turning 36 in January and having no rivals would boost his value.
Franklin’s standing with the Swans, his on-field performance, the club’s tight salary cap situation and his marketing value in a non-traditional football; City are all factors in his contract.
It comes after Franklin was limited to 10 games in 2018 and 2020 due to persistent soft tissue injuries and the club are now more cautious about how they manage their bodies and their playing time.
He has played 29 out of a possible 36 games since the beginning of 2021.