Dustin Martin etched his name into AFL folklore on Saturday night and kickstarted a bunch of conversations in the process.
After claiming his third Norm Smith medal, the first player to ever do so in league history, questions were raised if he was the greatest finals player of all time.
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But how different it all could have been if we rewind the clock back to 2017.
Martin capped off arguably one of the greatest individual seasons the game has seen when he torched his way through the competition and claimed every trophy under the sun that year.
However, at the end of the season the superstar Tiger dipped his toe into the free agency market and was offered a big money deal from North Melbourne.
Martin’s manager Ralph Carr spoke about the offers that were tabled, saying the initially reported amount was below what was actually put in front of his client.
A six-year, $9 million deal was reportedly offered by North Melbourne. Carr says that figure was actually $11 million — and Adelaide then matched the offer and came close to luring Martin away.
“It was $11 million over seven (years from North Melbourne),” Carr told SEN Breakfast.
“They (Crows) matched that offer. Mark Ricciuto came down to see me and they matched that offer. Then we took less than that to stay at Richmond, which I had to talk Dusty into.
“I gave him the equation of what we could make outside of football, which I thought was a lot better and I thought Richmond were a better club and better equipped to take him to where he wanted to go.
“The last game was against St Kilda (before re-signing) and he got a standing ovation and I think after that game we met for dinner, which we normally do, and he said, ‘I think you’re right about staying’.
“He got this huge standing ovation which was pretty amazing.”
Running away from the Crows.Source:News Corp Australia
Crows club director Mark Ricciuto said the Crows were all-in on securing Martin’s signature, having just lost Patrick Dangerfield at the time.
The Crows were coming off a Grand Final loss at the hands of the Tigers when they pursued Martin.
“We had a genuine crack at him as a football club,” Ricciuto said on Triple M.
“His manager Ralph Carr was sort of putting it out there and seeing who would have a bid at him and we decided we would have a crack.
“We’d just lost Paddy Dangerfield who had just gone back to Geelong so it was a bit of a like for like.”
A meeting took place at Martin’s house in Melbourne between the star, Carr and staff from the Crows. Carr said the Crows ticked all of the boxes in their presentation and Martin was open to moving.
Ricciuto said the Crows made “probably the biggest offer the Adelaide Football Club has put to anyone” and he was even prepared to venture over to New Zealand to meet with Martin’s father.
“The lengths we were prepared to go to, I actually got my passport changed to go and see his old man in New Zealand,” Ricciuto said.
“I don’t know what it was going to achieve but I was going to show him and his old man that that’s how serious we were.”
Of course as we now know, Martin stuck with the Tigers and helped the club claim two more premierships — with an eye on even more, no doubt.
Dusty stuck around.Source:Getty Images
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