Brisbane has “jumped the gun” re-signing key forward Eric Hipwood on a massive six-year deal, tying him to the club until the end of 2029.
Despite impressing in the Lions’ 2022 finals campaign, Hipwood didn’t feature in Brisbane’s top 10 best and fairest count and is yet to kick more than 37 goals in a single season.
Footy commentator Kane Cornes has warned the deal could turn out to be a “disaster” the Lions.
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“What is the benefit to Brisbane extending him now?” he questioned on SEN.
“Who’s going to steal Eric Hipwood right now? You can’t go now, the trade period’s finished!
“Wait until half through the year (for a new deal), he’s coming off a knee (injury). He hasn’t set the world on fire.
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“It was a good finals campaign, I’ll give him that. But he’s been a frustrating, polarising player.
“This isn’t a criticism of Eric Hipwood – congratulations to his management and himself. I would have done exactly the same thing.”
Cornes compared Hipwood’s new deal to the Jared Polec debacle – after he signed a massive $3.5 million, five-year deal with North Melbourne before eventually being delisted with a year still to run on that contract.
“On a scale of one to Jared Polec, how much of a disaster will this contract turn out to be for the Brisbane Lions? I don’t think it’s going to be a great one,” Cornes said.
“For this to be a success, he needs to be a top-two player in a Brisbane premiership season.
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“(If they do win the premiership in 2023) it’s the six years after that – they already had him this year (2023) – there was no need to extend him now.
“They’ve jumped the gun too early with a player that’s off the back of a knee reconstruction and has been inconsistent.
“He’s got talent and speed and all that, but he’s not yet a match winner.”
Cornes questioned why clubs were opting to dish out such lengthy deals, given the recent lack of success players have had with them.
The likes of Adam Treloar and Brodie Grundy are now being paid by Collingwood to play for other clubs after they signed long-term deals at the Magpies.
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Cornes said successful clubs like Geelong weren’t handing out big contracts as “common place”, with Jeremy Cameron the exception thanks to his five-year deal in 2020.
But Cameron has already helped the club to a premiership and has formed a formidable attacking partnership with star Cat Tom Hawkins.
“Jeremy Cameron kicked 62 goals in his second year in a team that won one game (before the Cats deal came),” Cornes explained.
“Eric Hipwood isn’t carrying the bags of Jeremy Cameron.”
The Lions provided an off-season shock when they revealed Hipwood’s lengthy new deal on Thursday night.
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It’s the biggest deal Brisbane has handed a player since Alastair Lynch’s incredible 10-year contract signed back in 1994.
Hipwood said he was “stoked” to commit to the Lions long-term and looked forward to becoming a one-club player.
He’ll be 32 by the time this new contract ends following the 2029 season.
Story Credit: foxsports.com.au