GWS have the option of matching an offer for Williams, a restricted free agent, should he exercise his free agency rights. But this is unlikely given that he would be certain to attract a sufficient contract to earn GWS a first-round pick in return.
AFL club sources suggested that Williams, originally from Narrandera in NSW, would clearly attract upwards of $700,000 a year over a long-term deal in a pre-pandemic market place. It is possible that a club would be willing pay significantly more to get him out of GWS, which has a tight salary cap but has been highly successful in retaining stars.
The Giants also have to recontract emerging second-year midfielder Jye Caldwell, a Victorian who is of interest to Melbourne clubs but who is settled and happy in Sydney. For the Giants, opportunity to play is often the main issue with young midfielders such as Caldwell, who has played senior football and impressed this year.
Cameron is viewed by some rival clubs as the biggest free agent or out-of-contract player within the AFL, given his stature and the fact that his signature – and the price he fetches – would have a bearing on the Giants’ playing list and their prospects of retaining other players.
The five-year offer to Williams is consistent with the club’s succession of long-term deals to key players with skipper Stephen Coniglio and Lachie Whitfield signing seven-year deals, Toby Greene getting six years and Harry Himmelberg five.
Midfielder Josh Kelly signed a two-year extension with an option for a further eight years – a commitment of 10 years by the Giants when he signed the deal. Kelly can exercise that contract next year if he chooses, or explore free agency.