At HPN, talk of the Total Player Payments (and third party payment) caps is often only mentioned in passing around trade time. That’s because salary information is withheld from public knowledge almost all of the time. Thanks to the AFL’s annual reporting on the issue, there’s knowledge out there about the distribution of salaries – a distribution that would not line up with the public discussions of salary.
Contracts have triggers, bonuses and all things in between – two players on $500k a year might have very different base contract amounts.
That being said, the need for some clubs to shed salary to stay under the cap is often the motivator for some trades – like Tom Scully’s move to Hawthorn last year.
And this move involving Josh Jenkins.
Jenkins, despite falling in and out of favour at Adelaide, is still a decent football player (at worst). He’ll reliably provide a forward target, a contest in the air, a chop out in the ruck and maybe a goal or two. At 31 next year, he isn’t going to play forever from here on, and he isn’t an anchor for a forward line.
But as a second or third tall option, as a threat to drag spare defenders away from Tom Hawkins? He might be an extremely good fit for a Geelong side in win-now mode.
This is one of the more curious trades on paper. Jenkins has been, at least approximately, been traded for the difference of draft years.
Depending on whether the Gold Coast draft concessions hold, Gold Coast’s 2020 third round pick should fall in the late thirties to early forties. As a result, Jenkins has either no perceived value according to this trade, or next to no value.
Again, Jenkins is better than this! He isn’t the steak knives thrown in at the end of a Tim Shaw infomercial!
But, given the Crows apparently wanted him off the books, and were even willing to pay a portion of his salary to do so, nothing was the best they could get.
Verdict: Geelong win easily.