Worst kept secret official as Lions star departs... with rival in $3m box seat

Catherine Healey from Fox Sports

Daniel McStay has played his last game for Brisbane, with the forward officially informing the club he won’t be signing a new deal.

McStay will instead become an unrestricted free agent, and return home to Victoria – with Collingwood the club most likely to snare the 27-year-old.

The Magpies have loomed all year for McStay after he put contract talks “on the backburner” back in June.

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Reports are Collingwood have offered the forward a massive $3 million deal across five years.

It’s believed Brisbane were able to match the length of Collingwood’s offer, but not the money.

McStay has played 161 games for Brisbane since being snapped up as a defender with pick 25 in the 2013 Draft.

“Dan has been a great teammate in his time with the Lions and remained committed to our cause until the end,“ Brisbane Lions General Manager Football, Danny Daly, said.

“He stuck with the Club during many lean seasons and played a vital role in helping the Brisbane Lions play finals football the past four seasons.

“We thank Dan for his service after the last nine years and wish him all the best for his next chapter.”

McStay described his nine years in Brisbane as “amazing” as he thanked the club’s fans for their support.

“I’ve had an amazing nine years with great support from both the playing group and staff,” McStay said.

“They have helped me grow both on and off the field and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity the Brisbane Lions have given me to fulfil my dreams of playing AFL football.

“Together, my partner and I, have decided to move back home to Melbourne. I wish the club every success and will be watching with a keen eye.”

Former Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley and footy commentator Kane Cornes have both questioned the size of the Magpies’ offer to McStay, as he’s set to earn at least $600,000 per season.

“There is a ‘contract con’ going on in the AFL,” Cornes added.

“The contract con is when you pay for a Mercedes but you get a Toyota. Your value increases just because you are out of contract.

“There’s some names there this year – Karl Amon, I’m hearing five years at 650 (thousand), they’re yet to realise that every third possession he hands it back to the opposition.

“Luke Jackson’s the same, he’s in really ordinary form. I understand why you would pay him, but you’re paying more than what he’s worth. (Jordan) De Goey is the same and McStay.”