Why Dusty backflipped on stunning $22m play
Dustin Martin has elevated himself to arguably the greatest player of the modern era, but it could have been a far different picture had the Richmond superstar not reneged on a couple of multi-million dollar offers tabled to him in 2017.
The star midfielder etched his name into the annals of Aussie Rules on Saturday night after becoming the first player in history to claim a third Norm Smith medal as he carried the Tigers to a grand final comeback over the Cats.
It's been a meteoric rise for Martin since his breakout season in 2017. That year saw the Tiger set the competition alight as he claimed nearly every trophy under the sun.
Understandably, at the end of the season, a host of rival teams emerged eager to lure Martin away from Richmond when he entered the free agency market.
North Melbourne emerged with a stunning offer - but speaking on Tuesday, Martin's manager Ralph Carr revealed that the figure initially reported was well below what was actually tabled to his client.
A six-year, $9 million deal was reportedly offered by North Melbourne. Carr says that figure was actually $11 million — and Adelaide then matched the offer and came close to luring Martin away.
"It was $11 million over seven (years from North Melbourne)," Carr told SEN Breakfast.
"They (Crows) matched that offer. Mark Ricciuto came down to see me and they matched that offer. Then we took less than that to stay at Richmond, which I had to talk Dusty into.
"I gave him the equation of what we could make outside of football, which I thought was a lot better and I thought Richmond were a better club and better equipped to take him to where he wanted to go.
"The last game was against St Kilda (before re-signing) and he got a standing ovation and I think after that game we met for dinner, which we normally do, and he said, 'I think you're right about staying'.
"He got this huge standing ovation which was pretty amazing."
Crows club director Mark Ricciuto said the Crows were all-in on securing Martin's signature, having just lost Patrick Dangerfield at the time.
Ricciuto said the Crows made "probably the biggest offer the Adelaide Football Club has put to anyone".
"We had a genuine crack at him as a football club," Ricciuto said on Triple M.
"His manager Ralph Carr was sort of putting it out there and seeing who would have a bid at him and we decided we would have a crack.
"We'd just lost Paddy Dangerfield who had just gone back to Geelong so it was a bit of a like for like."
How different it all could have been had 'Dusty' not turned down two $11 million offers.