Player Name: Chris Mayne
Current Club: Fremantle
Potential Clubs: Collingwood appear to be the front-runner to secure Mayne’s services beyond 2016, but there are several other clubs also interested in the Docker forward. St Kilda, Richmond and North Melbourne are also possibly in the mix, per a WA Today report, and further suitors could yet emerge for the free agent.
The original price: Mayne was initially selected by Fremantle at pick 40 in the 2007 National Draft. He’s spent the last 9 years developing into a dangerous medium-sized forward.
The good: When Fremantle were at their peak, Mayne was one of the most dangerous forwards in the game. A strong mark, he was also an elite tackler and the best set-shot for goal in the league. He booted an astonishing 39.7 in 2012, and has a career tally of 178 goals and just 91 behinds. He rates elite for pressure applied, has played 22+ games (finals included) in each of the past five seasons, and is on the eve of his 28th birthday – so still has several good seasons left. As a second or third forward option who’s just as good on the lead as he is below his knees, Mayne could be a really important component of a successful forward setup.
The bad: While it should never be his role given his size and skill set, Mayne really struggles as the focal point of an offence. His scoreboard impact over the last two seasons has been well down on his 2012-13 years (although his 2016 was much better than his 2015), and he’s never kicked 40 goals in a season. Part of that may be due to Fremantle’s defensive game plan, but it’s of concern regardless. A career average of 1.2 goals per game also isn’t impressive for a permanent forward.
What his club wants: Mayne is a free agent, so Fremantle want him to sign as long and lucrative a contract with his new club as possible, in order to maximise their free agency compensation.
What he’s worth: On the open market (which he won’t be), Mayne is worth around a late second-round draft selection. He’s young enough that there’s some time left in his career for him to recapture his best form, but that form was over two years ago, so there’s some doubt over whether he can get back to that level. He could be a valuable cog at Collingwood, but reports of a 4-year deal seem to be overs – three years should be plenty for an almost-28-year-old who hasn’t produced his best football in two years.
What we’d pay: Pick 30-35
Possible trade scenarios: Not applicable. Mayne will find a new home via free agency, so his new club won’t have to ‘pay’ anything to Fremantle to get him across. It will all come down to contract length and value.
The verdict: Mayne is a quality forward with a bit left in the tank, and a move at this stage in his career could be the best thing for him. He’ll be a piece of the puzzle, however, and not the focal point, so any suitor should be wary about paying overs in terms of contract terms.
Star rating: 3.5/5