Tom Mitchell contract, Jaeger O’Meara value, not worth top 20 picks says Gerard Whateley

Neither Tom Mitchell or Jaeger O’Meara would attract a first-round pick from a rival club if they were put up for trade at season’s end, according to AFL 360 presenter Gerard Whateley.

Hawthorn offered up some of its established-big name players to rival clubs during last year’s trade period in a bid to secure extra early draft picks and help fast-track its rebuild.

The Hawks were willing to part ways with triple premiership forward Luke Breust and fellow star Chad Wingard – both contracted players attracted interest from the Giants but, ultimately, pushed back on the moves and vetoed any trade – as Sam Mitchell took over the coaching reins from Alastair Clarkson.

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After winning three of their first five games this season, the Hawks have lost their past three consecutive matches to drop to 12th on the AFL ladder, with matches against in-form teams Richmond and Brisbane to come in the next fortnight.

Tom Mitchell’s output has dipped in the past three defeats, racking up 26, 22 and just 14 disposals in those matches, while O’Meara is averaging a career-low 20.3 disposals this season in a new role under Sam Mitchell that’s seen him spend less time at center bounces.

Jaeger O’Meara and Tom Mitchell of the Hawks. Picture: Michael KleinSource: News Corp Australia

Four-time Power best and fairest winner Kane Cornes on Monday night questioned the market value of Hawthorn’s veterans, saying they were “essentially worthless” while adding the management of the team’s midfield this season was “a real issue” for Sam Mitchell.

Asked whether Tom Mitchell and O’Meara had lost their worth at the trade table, Whateley told Fox Footy’s AFL 360 on Tuesday night: “I think that’s real because you’re talking the high-end picks that fast-track redevelopment rebuild.

“I don’t think if you put those two players up at the end of this season you’re getting picks inside 20 for them.

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“They still have worth to Hawthorn over the journey with Sam Mitchell and in this period, but I don’t think other clubs are queuing up for them anymore. That moment has passed, in my eyes.”

But O’Meara on Tuesday night said he and Tom Mitchell still had a valuable role to play at the Hawks.

“I know exactly where we’re at and we need to develop as a footy club, particularly in the midfield group as well,” O’Meara told 9 News Melbourne.

“We need some other guys to step up and giving opportunities to guys like Jai Newcombe and Josh Ward and some other guys that will come through there is definitely the way forward.

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“We’re happy and we’re hoping they can develop at a rapid rate and climb back up the ladder.”

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