Lynch, who crossed to Richmond as a free agent at the end of the season, will only be paid about $500,000 in the first three seasons of his new heavily backloaded seven-year deal with the Tigers – about half of what he earned while in his final year at the Suns, albeit he will be paid close to $5 million over the last four years.
The Tigers re-negotiated deals for star trio Jack Riewoldt, Trent Cotchin and Alex Rance to accommodate Lynch and retain other key players. West Coast’s Nic Naitanui was paid $900,000 – $1 million in 2017 and The Age believes he remained in that bracket in 2018.
Franklin is midway through a nine-year deal with the Sydney Swans and was scheduled to be paid $1.2 million last year while the Dockers retained Fyfe as a free agent when they signed him to six year deal in 2017 that tied him to the club until the end of 2023.
Martin signed with the Tigers during the 2017 finals on the way to winning the Brownlow while leading the Tigers to a drought-breaking premiership while Boyd joined the Bulldogs on a massive deal after he was at Greater Western Sydney for just one season. Boyd was a dominant player in the 2016 finals series and close to best on ground in the grand final as the Bulldogs won their first premiership for 62 years.
The Giants’ Cameron is out of contract at the end of 2020 after signing a five-year deal that was believed to be worth about $4 million. The Giants have had to shuffle the annual payments made to players as they attempt to straighten up their TPP so Cameron is likely to have had years where he has earned above and below a million dollars.
The shrinking of the millionaire club from nine to six despite an overall rise in wages is likely due to the shuffling of money over the life of contracts and the desire of clubs to compact their payment structure.
Three of the six AFL players earned above $1.2 million with only one listed player in the competition earning less than $60,000 in 2018.
The average (mean) annual income for the more than 700 AFL players in 2018 was $362,471 with the number of players earning between $800-900,000 increasing from nine in 2017 to 15 last year.
Three of the 24 players to earn between $700-800,000 in 2018 did not play a senior game in 2018.