Some uncertainty remains as to the logic of Collingwood’s pursuit of Dan McStay.
It continues to be widely reported that the Magpies will sign the Lions in this trade period in a deal believed to be around $600,000 per season over five years.
The club’s push to bring in McStay could perhaps come at the expense of Ruckman Brodie Grundy, who is in the third year of the Monster seven-year deal he signed in 2020.
The Grundy situation brings with it some conundrums.
Reports continue to circulate that the two-time All-Australian and two-time Copeland Trophy winner could be on the way with Melbourne this off-season.
Former Magpies manager Nathan Buckley can’t say exactly why his old club should enlist McStay’s services if it doesn’t have a positive benefit on their salary cap, especially if it means saying goodbye to Grundy with no significant space for release the upper limit.
“From the outside, and I don’t have any inside knowledge, I don’t understand the McStay stuff,” Buckley continued SEN breakfast.
“I keep asking ‘Fieldy’ (Sam Edmund), I’ve asked Jon Ralph and they think it’s a done deal.
“But if Brodie Grundy leaves Collingwood and Collingwood brings in Daniel McStay and the net impact on the salary cap is zero, I don’t understand it at all.
“I don’t have any inside knowledge, I don’t know what the plans are or what the commitments were, but if that happens in the end I don’t see how that can be a win.”
Buckley was asked if he thinks the club currently has an issue with their salary cap that could force Grundy out.
“Back then, at the end of 2020, we had to make those calls and it wasn’t a great result for the club,” he said succinctly.
In the case of Grundy, it’s clear that Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury is keen for the star ruckman to continue his black-and-white career, even amid the modern wave of free hand that clearly favors the player community.
He said so on Sunday night at the Brownlow medal count.
“Brodie knows he has a really great future if he wants it at our football club,” Pendlebury continued 7News.
“But we also understand the football business. Free Agency is what players wanted, it’s arrived and it’s still pretty raw and guys are getting used to it.
“It is what it is in this area but Brodie makes us a better football team.”
Of course the club would want to keep Grundy, he’s a big star after all and they’re hard to come by.
But the money he’s on is unaffordable and the club may have concrete plans to shift their roster away from him.
Did the Pies encourage him to explore his options because he has a gargantuan salary they want to dump?
Parallels must be drawn with Adam Treloar, who wanted to remain a magpie but was swapped out to the Western Bulldogs on their fire sale in the 2020 trading period.
The Grundy case seems eerily similar.
But if McStay happens to find that route to the AIA Center, the club would want a positive impact on their crowded cap if Grundy is to leave.
Otherwise, many questions are asked by the black and white army. And rightly so.