“He’s a [restricted] free agent, but you’ve got to give up a big part of your salary cap. So you want to see something this year, to sort of form that view.
“But I think, absolutely, he’d be an attractive option, ’cause he’s been an All-Australian key forward and a young All-Australian key forward.”
Brown said the Lions ticked the box of being a club that was out of the intense spotlight that follows players at Melbourne clubs. “And obviously, he craves being out of the spotlight, which is fine, and Brisbane fits into that category. I think the players really do enjoy that, I know Hodgey [Luke Hodge] has really enjoyed that aspect of it.”
Essendon have chosen to focus on Daniher’s rehabilitation and recovery from his groin problem, having visited a leading specialist in Ireland earlier this year, and have separated the issue of managing Daniher’s body from the question of whether he will remain at the club beyond 2020.
Brown, the last proven star key forward to have played for the Lions, said there was a question mark on whether tall forward Eric Hipwood, 22, could “go to the next level” and if Daniel McStay, now 24, could support Hipwood.
“Can you play two ruck with Stef Martin and Oscar McInerney, so McInerney’s obviously got to contribute on the scoreboard.
“That is the question and obviously considering they’ve got an elite midfield, you know you’d like to see a big quality forward … who’s capable of kicking a big number of goals.
“Now they might have that there already, you know – Hipwood and McStay might develop.”
But Daniher’s situation was one the Lions should be monitoring. “It’s certainly one they’ve got to watch. I’m not sure, I think their salary cap’s in reasonable condition.”
Daniher’s persistent groin problem – which required surgery last year – has restricted him to an aggregate of 11 games over the past two seasons.
Jake Niall is a Walkley award-winning sports journalist and chief AFL writer for The Age.