AFL forward Ben Brown’s decision to knock back a multi-year-multi million dollar deal offered by North Melbourne has been met with criticism and sheer bemusement by veteran AFL writer Caroline Wilson.
Brown was one of the premier goalkickers in the game prior to the 2020 season, having booted more than 60 goals in each of the prior three campaigns.
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It was enough for the Kangaroos to table a lucrative three-year deal reportedly worth $750,000 a season at the start of the year - an offer Brown and manager Adam Ramanauskas rebuffed.
That decision could come back to haunt him, with a disastrous 2020 season season Brown play just nine games and kick only eight goals as the Kangaroos slumped to 17th on the ladder, only avoiding the wooden spoon by percentage.
The Kangaroos have since said publicly that they are open to trading the star forward.
Speaking on Footy Classified, Wilson said Ramanauskas should have pushed for Brown to accept the deal, rather than wait for the end of the season.
“All managers make mistakes and have bad timing in the decisions they make,” she said.
“But it's Adam Ramanauskas I would be staggered about if I was Ben Brown, if it was his advice that told him to reject the $750,000 per year, or minimum $700,000 per year, three-year-deal from the Kangaroos in March this year.
"One of the worst decisions a manager has made."— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) September 28, 2020
Caroline Wilson has criticised Ben Brown's manager, Adam Ramanauskas, for turning down a three-year deal with big money earlier this season.#9FootyClassified | Watch @channel9 pic.twitter.com/ysdjqphcCQ
“One of the worst decisions this year a manager has made.
“His manager should have convinced him to take it.”
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The market for Brown is likely to be lively if the Kangaroos do decide to trade him, but former Port Adelaide star Kane Cornes defended the star forward’s decision not to sign the new deal.
Cornes believed Brown was hoping to make a proper tilt at free agency, likening it to Richmond forward Tom Lynch’s exit from the Gold Coast Suns.
“He was 26-years-old at the time and had kicked 60 goals for the three previous seasons before and it was probably his last big contract,” Cornes said on Footy Classified.
“I don't begrudge him for that and maybe he wasn't fully confident in the way North Melbourne were going – new coach coming in, record was poor.
“Maybe he wanted to do a Tom Lynch and explore the options to play in a premiership.
“I would much rather play for $200,000 less and be in a successful side than sign at North for three years at $750,000 and be 17th which they're going to be for the next three or four years.”
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