(Image: Twitter/Hawthorn FC)
Damian Barrett has said there is a lot of "controversy" around the status of Tyrone Vickery's contract.
Vickery crossed from Richmond to Hawthorn as a free agent early last week on what reported as a two-year-deal.
But Barrett, speaking on The Weekend Breakfast with Seb Costello, suggests there's more to it.
"Even the dealing, Seb, around getting Tyrone Vickery in as a free agent - there was controversy around that," he said.
"The clubs aren't buying the release that he had a two-year contract from Hawthorn: they believe it's a three-year contract on less money than the half a million dollars it will be under a two-year deal.
"What it did by making it two years was allow him to pass as a Richmond player into a Hawthorn club...that allowed Richmond to get a second-round compensation."
He suggested a two-year deal is a "win-win" for the two clubs, in that Richmond get better compensation than a three-year deal would net them.
"In offering a two-year deal at, say, $500,000 for each of those two years; it's a million dollar offer which Richmond wasn't going to match," he said.
"Had it been the three years, which the other clubs believe it to be, of $400,000 times three - so $1.2 million over three years - Richmond almost certainly would have matched it, and Vickery wouldn't have got the easy and the smooth transition from Richmond to Hawthorn.
"Also, in believing or accepting it's a two-year deal, they do then get the second-round compensation. So it's win-win.
"I'll be really keen to see what happens to Tyrone Vickery at the end of 2018, because there's basically 16 other footy clubs that believe it's a three-year deal."
Barrett says Hawthorn may have trippe over their own feet in announcing it.
"T he Hawks put out a press release saying it was a three-year deal, and within 30 seconds of putting that out and that being reported, they were retracting their own press statement," he said.
He suggests the AFL has looked into it.
"That was being investigated by the AFL late in the week, and (we're) yet to see an answer on that."