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Bryce Gibbs to re-sign with Carlton for up to five years

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Bryce Gibbs and Carlton have committed to one another, with the free agent midfielder to sign a long-term contract of either four or five seasons.

They are in the final throes of agreeing a contract, with the only question being whether the term is for four years, which the club is happy to give, or five.

Carlton's view is a fifth year should be more conditional, or involve a little less money.

A cut above the rest: Bryce Gibbs:

A cut above the rest: Bryce Gibbs: Photo: Pat Scala

Gibbs is expected to receive only a small raise on what he is currently paid, with an annual wage in the $550,000 to $600,000 range, with potential to earn slightly more depending on how he performs.

The Blues had considered whether they should keep Gibbs or take the significant draft compensation – almost certainly a top 10 draft pick – and use two early selections as the basis for a rebuild of the club's thin playing list.

Their opponent this weekend, Adelaide, had shown some interest in Gibbs, long the subject of speculation that he would return to his home state of South Australia.

But the Blues have taken the view that Gibbs is one of their best and most durable players. He has just turned 25 and while he is not among the game's elite, the club has few players in his critical mid-20s age bracket on which to add young talent and build a strong list.

He would be close to leading the club's best and fairest this season, in what has been a largely disappointing season so far for Carlton.

Gibbs' management, Elite Sports Properties, confirmed talks with the club were moving towards a final deal.

''We are continuing discussions with the club and things are progressing towards finalising a new contract,'' said Nigel Carmody from ESP.

The Carlton board must still give its formal consent to the Gibbs deal, because of the club's policy that substantial, longer-term contracts must receive such an endorsement. This is considered a formality.

The decision to retain Gibbs rather than receive a first-round compensation pick defies the urgings of some commentators, as well as influential Carlton supporters.

A number of clubs had been interested in Gibbs, who, like other free agents, wanted to be briefed on the club's list management direction before committing.

Crows coach Brenton Sanderson had been on record saying they would like Gibbs, but the midfielder was understood to have expressed a preference for remaining in Melbourne, having bought a home close to Visy Park.

The Blues have shown a willingness to give key players longer-term deals this year, having re-contracted skipper Marc Murphy, 26, on a four-year deal earlier this season and recently re-signed defender Michael Jamison, 27, on a three-year contract.

Gibbs has played 163 games since he was taken as the No.1 draft pick by Carlton in 2006. He was the second-youngest player ever to reach 150 games at Carlton.

He is averaging a career high of 10.6 contested possessions per game from a total of 24.6 disposals per game, the second-best of his career.

He is also on career peaks for tackles (5.0) and clearances (5.1).

12 comments so far

  • I hope he's getting paid a whole lot less.

    Commenter
    Ian
    Location
    Adelaide
    Date and time
    May 21, 2014, 7:03PM
    • Compared to the bloke who can't kick and is past it, Dale Thomas, he is being underpaid.

      Commenter
      Wal
      Location
      Bush
      Date and time
      May 22, 2014, 8:27AM
  • Great news. Should bring some stability and get the club out of the media (for one of the distracting/wrong reasons).

    Commenter
    Rhys & Dommi
    Location
    Carlton
    Date and time
    May 21, 2014, 7:05PM
    • Glad to see Bryce committed to the club - this is a great story about a potential free agent turning his back on extra dollars for a future that hopefully involves much better things than he and his teammates have endured over the better part of a decade. I hope that when his career concludes he can say that staying made him develop further and helped achieve more than he did in the first part of his career.

      Commenter
      Paccojenks
      Location
      Pacco
      Date and time
      May 21, 2014, 7:35PM
      • What! For one he is not worth extra dollars. 2. I can't believe he got 5 years.
        For the sake of the club he'd better well play some good footy.

        Commenter
        Jim
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        May 22, 2014, 8:13AM
      • Who was going to offer him extra dollars ? Only carlton wanted him.

        Commenter
        Kosta
        Location
        brighton
        Date and time
        May 22, 2014, 11:58AM
    • Bryce is lucky, another five years for an underachiever. Wonder whether anybody else was really interested. Maybe at their price, probably not at his.

      Commenter
      Rhm
      Date and time
      May 21, 2014, 7:50PM
      • very ordinary player in an ordinary team. the club must have little self respect when a player like this, who was a high pick and has never done anything of note, asks the club what they can do for him and they resign him!!! how about getting a kick!? hes up there in the most overrated players in the comp with brett deledio, steele sidebottom, and the shaw brothers.

        Commenter
        landferno
        Location
        richmond
        Date and time
        May 21, 2014, 8:00PM
        • And landferno you were a champion in what league ? Little league ?

          Commenter
          Stan
          Date and time
          May 21, 2014, 11:08PM
      • Bad move Blues. He is an outside player the tackle count must be against blokes that have fallen over

        Commenter
        Des
        Location
        Grovedale
        Date and time
        May 21, 2014, 8:11PM

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