By Luke Voogt
Geelong Cats have secured GWS Giants dual All-Australian full-forward and 2019 Coleman Medallist Jeremy Cameron in a trade that went down to the wire tonight.
The Cats lodged paperwork with the AFL to make the restricted free agent a Geelong player on a five-year deal worth about $900,000 per season.
But the Giants matched the bid – the first time this has occurred in the nine-year history of free agency, according to the Cats.
In a last-minute deal secured before the 7.30pm deadline tonight, the Cats sent picks 13, 15 and 20 and a future fourth-round selection to the Giants.
In return they received Cameron and two future second-round selections.
The Giants secured one of the future second-round selections in exchange for trading Jye Caldwell to Essendon.
Cameron has played 171 games and has kicked 427 goals. The 27-year-old will join new Cats Isaac Smith and Shaun Higgins at GMHBA Stadium in 2021.
“It is rare that a player of Jeremy’s talent becomes available and we are thrilled that he will be playing for us for the rest of his career,” Geelong’s recruiting and list manager Stephen Wells said.
“Jeremy and his management have been nothing but professional throughout this period. Jeremy had a number of options through this period and in deciding that Geelong was the best club for his future and we could facilitate a trade for him is a great outcome for both parties.
“Our players are excited to add Jeremy to our team. We believe we have strengthened our list through the free agent and draft period.
“There were a number of possible deals discussed today and we believe this one was the best for our club to secure Jeremy and strengthen our draft position in 2021.”