– Jake Lever set to move on after ‘low-ball’ offer by Adelaide Crows

September 17, 2017

Jake Lever’s desire to leave Adelaide has been fuelled in part by a meagre contract offer from the Crows when discussions with the All Australian defender commenced earlier in 2017.

Both Lever and Adelaide’s recently re-signed forward Mitch McGovern were initially offered contracts of around $300,000 per season by the Crows, significantly less than what the pair would reasonably command otherwise.

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In August McGovern ended up signing a contract extension with the Crows to 2020 on significantly more money than the original offer. However for Lever it is as good as certain that he will not be at the Adelaide Oval in 2018 and beyond despite also receiving a better offer from the Crows.

While Lever, 21, wants to move to be home in Melbourne and to take advantage of his currency given his stellar season, it is understood the Crows initial “low-ball” offer to the no.14 pick in the 2014 draft did not do his chances of staying at Adelaide any good.

The Crows will not let their star go cheaply though. They will demand two first round picks for Lever, with Melbourne in the box seat to secure him. Collingwood are also in the race for Lever while the Bulldogs have diverted their attention to Port Adelaide tall Jackson Trengove.

Clubs pursuing Lever will try and lower the Crows asking price with other possibilities including a combination of a first round pick and a player, or a second round pick and a first round pick.

Melbourne currently hold picks 10 and 27 in the national draft but could trade a future first round pick too.

Crows coach Don Pyke spoke confidently in July about keeping Lever in Adelaide, but then in August when reports emerged that Lever’s management had began discussions with Victorian clubs, Pyke did not want to weigh into contract “speculation”.

Ironically it was the Crows who last season refused to swap two first round picks with Carlton for Bryce Gibbs. The Crows instead offered a first round pick and a future third round pick for Gibbs.

It is expected that Gibbs will tell Carlton again this year that he wants to be traded to Adelaide.

However it is unclear if the Blues will lower their asking price for Gibbs, although given Adelaide could receive two first round picks for Lever, Carlton may use that as leverage in a deal for the 28-year-old, who has two more years to run on his contract at Ikon Park.

After the trade for Gibbs fell through in late 2016 the no.1 pick in the 2006 draft told Fairfax Media his desire to move home to Adelaide had nothing to do with Carlton as a football club.

“It was a couple of reasons. A bit to do with family. We’ve got a young one at home, and as all families know, that can be pretty testing at times,” he said.

“I’ve got a few things going on in my life that I’m going through as well, so we just thought for where we are right now as a family, that we wanted to be around close family and friends, and if a trade happened, we thought that was the best move for us as a family right now.”

Lever has played 54 games since he debuted in 2015, 18 of those coming in 2017 where the Crows finished on top of the ladder and have qualified for a preliminary final clash with Geelong on Friday night.

Gibbs played every game for Carlton this season and looked a rejuvenated force for the Blues. His most formidable performance of the season, and perhaps his 231 career games, came against Gold Coast in round 13 where he gathered 43 disposals and kicked two goals. – #1 – All News First!

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