Is Nick Daicos the best value player in AFL history?

You wouldn’t be shot down if you named a 20-year-old boy the best player in the AFL right now.

Collingwood superstar Nick Daicos is taking the competition by storm in just his second year at the highest level and is already a Brownlow Medal favorite, ahead of veteran champions like Marcus Bontempelli, Christian Petracca, Lachie Neale and Patrick Cripps.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Nick Daicos says he doesn’t like being the center of attention from the AFL right now.

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Teams try and fail to stop him from fully controlling the game at halfback.

The young wonder was even praised by arguably the greatest player in football history, Leigh Matthews, who said Daicos is “clearly” Collingwood’s most important player.

Still, he’s categorically one of Collingwood’s lowest-paid players.

As a sophomore, he must be under AFL and AFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) rules.

In his podcast Tras, Mitch Cleary of 7NEWS Melbourne explained why Daicos could be the best value player in the history of the Code.

“There isn’t a player in the competition, perhaps in the history of the game, who is currently playing more over contract than Nick Daicos,” Cleary said.

“If you just look at the pre-existing CBA before it was torn apart and recreated by COVID, these are rough numbers: $140,000 baseline in your sophomore year if you played 17+ games the year before, which he has done.

Nick Daicos is already one of the best players in the game. Credit: Getty

“So, $140,000 plus $5,000 match payments, so let’s say he plays 20 games this year, (that’s) $240,000, and then you get another max bonus of $12,000 for playing a total of 15+ games. So a quarter of a million dollars.”

The average AFL player salary in 2022 was $406,000, which means that even with every bonus available to him, Daicos makes about $150,000 less than the average competitor player.

“Because sophomore and first-year players are limited on the CBA,” Cleary continued.

“Will Ashcroft will be the same next year, Nick Daicos the same, Tim Kelly in Geelong was the same.

“And he (Daicos) is theoretically making $240-$250,000 this year playing football and he’s worth … $850-$900,000 right now.

Nick Daicos is at the heart of the best team in the competition right now. Credit: Daniel Pocket/Getty Images

“He signed a four-year contract before playing a football game (for Collingwood) – a two-year extension on top of his mandate (first two years).

“[Former Collingwood coach]Nathan Buckley said he picked him when he was 17, so he’d make maybe $500,000 in years three and four.

“It’s quite remarkable.”

Collingwood manager challenges opposition to tag Nick Daicos

Collingwood manager challenges opposition to tag Nick Daicos Is Nick Daicos the best value player in AFL history?

James Brien

James Brien is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. James Brien joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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