June 19, 2024

The GWS Giants are reportedly keen on securing Sam Taylor with a multi-year contract that would elevate him to the status of the AFL’s highest-paid defender ever.

The 24-year-old, who earned the title of All-Australian fullback in 2022, is set to become a free agent at the end of 2025. However, according to footy reporter Sam McClure, the Giants are eager to secure his services for an extended period.

“About a month ago, the Giants initiated talks to extend (Taylor’s contract),” McClure revealed on the Tradies podcast. “My understanding is they are considering offering him a six-year deal, possibly even longer, which would make him the highest-paid key defender in the history of the game, surpassing Jeremy McGovern, whose contract peaked at just over $1.3 million.

“At present, Taylor is earning $800,000, and with the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) set to increase next year, he is considered excellent value, especially given the scarcity of players of his caliber in his position.

“I believe the Giants would prefer him to sign for a longer period, similar to Josh Kelly or Stephen Coniglio’s eight or nine-year deals, but I anticipate the initial offer will be for six years.

“From 2026 onwards, he will undoubtedly be among the highest-paid players in the league … and the Giants will aim to finalize this deal before the end of the year to avoid Taylor entering the following season as a free agent.

“The West Coast Eagles have already expressed significant interest in him, as they rightly should.

“I would be extremely surprised if he were to depart from the Giants.”

Four rival clubs are reportedly vying to entice Will Hayward away from the Sydney Swans once the season concludes.

The 25-year-old forward, who holds restricted free agent status, has attracted interest from Carlton, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Port Adelaide, as per footy reporter Tom Morris.

“Free agent Will Hayward is currently in high demand,” Morris disclosed to 9News.

“Although Sydney has extended an offer to the 25-year-old, he has garnered attention from competitors, including two prominent Victorian clubs entrenched in the premiership race.

“Both Adelaide and Port Adelaide have shown interest in the South Australian, a fact we were already aware of. However, tonight I can confirm that Carlton and Melbourne have firmly entered the race for Hayward’s signature as a free agent by offering him long-term deals.

“As such, Hayward’s decision will ultimately come down to staying with the Swans, where he has amassed 142 games, or opting for Carlton, Melbourne, Port, or Adelaide.

“While Sydney remains optimistic that he will commit to them, the presence of these competing clubs makes it a significant career choice.

“It’s important to note that as a restricted free agent, Sydney retains the ability to match any offer Hayward receives.”

Sam Taylor of the Giants. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

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