How Blues can scare off rivals and secure Martin
Carlton has multiple ways to structure a contract that will scare off rivals for Jack Martin and secure him for nothing through the pre-season draft.
Martin's manager Jason Dover told the Herald Sun he was still confident his client would find a way to the Blues despite last week's aborted trade.
Carlton has only the third pick in the pre-season draft behind the Suns and Melbourne.
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The Suns could redraft Martin and force him to play but it would seem unlikely as they never offered the silky half forward a contract this year.
They could also delist him and allow him to move to the Blues as a free agent, but given president Tony Cochrane's hard-line trade stance, that is a distant possibility.
It means the Blues will have to find ways to dissuade the Suns and Demons from drafting him.
Martin could set terms for a single-season contract at upwards of $800,000 for the season that Melbourne would not match given he would request a trade the following year.
Or he could set terms for a five-year contract that was heavily front-ended into the initial season, with any team willing to draft him having to meet those exact financial terms.
If the Demons matched those terms he could still ask for a trade after one season at the club.
Martin is holidaying in Europe for most of the next month, with Dover set to sit down with Carlton this week to work through a way he can find himself under David Teague next year.
"We are working through a few alternatives over the next few weeks and we have always been confident we had a plan B if we couldn't get a trade done," Dover said.
Carlton has enough cap space after missing on Tom Papley that they can absorb the first year of a massive contract then spread the rest of his salary out over the life of his tenure at the club.
Melbourne hasn't ruled out drafting Martin given the club's determination to secure a small or medium-sized forward but the ex-Sun isn't likely to even meet the club let alone consider them as a suitor.
For the past three years there has been no pre-season draft, with clubs happy to move straight from the national draft to the rookie draft, where the Blues secured Hugh Goddard with the No. 1 pick last year.
But the Blues might hope they have the only selection, having scared off suitors by then.
Luke Ball was able to find a way from St Kilda to Collingwood through the national draft but that is not a realistic proposition.