Rockliff and Lions miles apart on new contract

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AFL: Patrick Dangerfield is still eligible for the Brownlow Medal after the AFL decided to lay no charges from round 14.

Tom Rockliff. Picture: Getty Images

TOM Rockliff’s future is up in the air after it emerged the Lions skipper has pulled a contract proposal he’d made to Brisbane off the table.

Relationships between club and captain are not strained and both parties say they want to strike a new deal but they are currently miles apart on the 26-year-old’s value.

Rockliff has a year to run on his existing deal, but his manager approached the club earlier in the year after Daniel Rich and Dayne Zorko were given lucrative long-term extensions, looking for a new five year deal, believed to be worth about $4 million.

But Brisbane baulked at the price and when negotiations stalled Rockliff became frustrated and withdrew his proposal.


Rockliff confirmed he had put talks on hold but said it should not be taken as a sign he wanted out of Brisbane.

“We couldn’t come to an agreement on numbers and years, I was injured for a while then also and couldn’t play the sort of footy I knew I was capable of, I just thought it was the best thing,’’ he said.

“I’m the captain of the football club, I’ve been through the hard times and I want to see this through, so I don’t think there’s any uncertainty around that.’’

Tom Rockliff has pulled a contract proposal he’d made to Brisbane. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

There has been rumours in football circles Rockliff was being shopped to Victorian clubs.

The Lions are aware of those stories but have not heard it directly from any rival clubs. Nor have they been told by Rockliff or his manager that he was looking for a new home.

Rockliff said he had decided to stay out of all negotiations and leave them in the hands of his manager Tom Petroro.

“You would have to ask my manager that, but I haven’t met with anyone from any other clubs,’’ he said.

It comes at a time senior media analysts have also started to question Rockliff’s value and question whether the Lions should consider trading him.

He was lauded for his great leadership on Saturday when he spoke strongly to the team about the need to present well at the club’s Hall of Fame function and to make certain they took the time to talk to any fans who approached them.

He also set a strict curfew for players heading out after the function, even though the side is now on leave because of the bye.

The Lions have won just one match for the season and are second last on the ladder. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

But he can also be hot headed and the Lions yesterday had to hose down rumours of a major falling-out between Rockliff and welfare manager Craig Lambert who has the difficult task of keeping harmony at a club that has won just once this season.

Rockliff became enraged that Lambert accepted an invite to attend the Giants’ 100th game on the same day the Lions had a social outing.

News of the argument spread but officials insist the pair quickly made peace and remain on good terms.

? GEELONG star Patrick Dangerfield remains eligible to win the Brownlow Medal after the match review panel ruled his contact to St Kilda’s Jarryn Geary on Saturday night accidental.

Dangerfield caught Geary in the head with his knee as he attempted to break free of a tackle.

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