Player name: Jaeger O’Meara
Current club: Gold Coast
Potential club: O’Meara has nominated that he’d like to head to Hawthorn, however any Melbourne-based destination is likely to suit him if the Suns can’t do a deal with the Hawks. He’s a Perth lad originally, but neither WA team has been linked to him.
The original price: Gold Coast secured O’Meara via the 2011 mini draft – part of the concessions provided to GWS on entry into the AFL. Gold Coast gained access to this selection by trading the fourth overall selection in the 2011 draft to GWS. They also moved down the draft order, swapping a mid-first-round compensation pick for the Giants’ pick 31.
The Good: At his best, O’Meara has the ability to become the complete footballer. Inside, outside, tough, skilled – he’s not unlike Joel Selwood, Chris Judd, those types. He could be a once in a generation 200+ game player over the next decade.
The Bad: O’Meara has not played AFL football for two years. He’s only been in the system for 4 years (plus one development year he had in 2012 where he was ineligible to play), but half that time has been spent on the sidelines. His knee could be no good, and despite several efforts to make it back in 2016, he just never got there. His best outings in the past two seasons have been a couple of semi-impressive halves of NEAFL footy.
What his club wants: The Suns have been a little inconsistent with their valuing of O’Meara. The Chairman wants an elite player, but the Coach wants two top-10 draft picks. They’ve talked about letting him walk to the preseason draft, but there will be enough interest that they will take something for him in a trade rather than lose him for literally nothing.
What he’s worth: Given his elite pedigree, age and the fact that any destination club would be doing their due diligence on his knee, O’Meara is still worth a top-10 draft selection. Depending on where the pick falls in that range, an additional compensation pick or player going either way might be appropriate. This is premised on the fact that the receiving club has fully assessed his injuries, and is confident that he’ll be able to play out the best part of the next 10 years.
That said, a top-5 draft selection is probably too much on its own, as the risk associated with taking O’Meara on, regardless of the results of the due diligence on his knee, is greater than most players. The best indication of a future injury is a player’s injury history, and O’Meara has played just 50% of possible games since landing at the Suns.
What we’d pay: Pick 6-10
Possible trade scenarios:
- Hawthorn trades its 2016 first-round selection and its 2017 first-round selection, receives Gold Coast’s 2016 second round selection.
- Essendon trade its 2017 future first-round pick to Gold Coast, along with a mid-round 2016 draft selection.
- Carlton trades its first selection overall (pick 5), Gold Coast sends Jaeger O’Meara and its third-round 2016 draft selection.
The Verdict: A trade should be done by Gold Coast. O’Meara hasn’t quite worked out for them, and if he wants to leave then they shouldn’t try and keep him. He still has plenty of value, so maximising this now is the smart play. But it won’t happen in the first week, as the Suns play hard ball to maximise that compensation. There are enough clubs interested that, assuming his knee is okay, the bidding war will heat up. They won’t get what they want for him, but it will still be a tidy haul to start to look for his replacement.
Star rating: 4.5/5
Jaeger O’Meara is an elite talent, and quite possibly the best player available in this year’s Trade and Free Agency pool.