For those of you wondering what the Bulldogs’ plan is for getting under next year’s salary cap, Fox Sports’ James Hooper appears to have the answer: moving on their highest paid players.
To be fair, that much was pretty well assumed knowledge at this point, but his report goes even further, specifically naming the five players that the club is actively shopping around.
Those players are (reportedly): Greg Eastwood, James Graham, Brett Morris, Josh Morris, and Moses Mbye. The players’ estimated contract values are (in order): $800,000, $1 million, $700,000, $700,000, and $800,000.
At those prices, it’s hard to imagine any rival club picking them up at full freight, and at some point, the Bulldogs appear likely to be forced into paying a portion of at least one player’s contract in order to move them on.
If they were willing to do that, none of those players (other than possibly Eastwood) should be too hard to find homes for. Plenty of clubs – in particular the Knights, Tigers and Warriors – are searching for a quality front-rower like Graham, the Morris twins are both playing at a decent level, while Mbye is still only 23 years old, and would probably benefit from a change of scenery. The sticking point appears to be price.
And unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they’ve got no leverage. If reports are true that they’re close to $800,000 over the cap, they’ll need to shed players, and their opposition knows that.
Which puts the Bulldogs in a tough spot. It’s hard to feel sorry for them – it’s a mess entirely of their own making. However, we do feel sorry for their fans, who are likely to be forced to watch more club favourites walk out the door, after already losing Josh Reynolds and Sam Kasiano.