A desire to build a Carlton list that sticks together for the long-term is behind co-captain Patrick Cripps’ decision to re-sign for six years on less money.
The gun midfielder re-signed until the end of the 2027 season on Friday and said his long-term deal showed faith in Carlton’s “clear direction”.
The 26-year-old hoped taking less money would set a precedent that would see his teammates stay together and give the Blues flexibility in recruiting.
“It was always what’s best for the club,” Cripps told AAP on Saturday.
“We want success and I feel like we’ve got a lot of talent on this list, so we want to keep these guys together and also want to keep adding bits and pieces.
“So I think that (my contract) sets a good precedent for the group and if we can all do that – keep fitting people in but also keeping people, (it) will give us the best opportunity for success which is what we all want.”
Carlton were active in last year’s trade and free agency period and Cripps hoped to see that continue but took most heart out of the likes of Harry McKay and Jacob Weitering signing on.
“We want to be a club that people want to come to. It was great last year we had (Lachie Fogarty, Adam Saad and Zac Williams) want to come to our club – we want to keep that coming,” Cripps said.
“But I think most important was (Harry McKay) signing, (Jacob Weitering) signed last year, a lot of these young guys that we drafted early have signed.
“So although externally we’re copping a bit of heat, internally, we’re really confident in the direction we’re going.”
Cripps said criticism of Carlton’s recent performances was justified but threw his support behind under-fire coach David Teague ahead of Sunday’s crunch clash with Adelaide.
Blues president Mark LoGiudice late on Saturday confirmed the club’s much-talked about external review would begin on Monday.
Review leaders Graham Lowe, Matthew Pavlich and Geoff Walsh will seek feedback from all staff and observe the operations of the football department and report back to the Carlton board at a date yet-to-be-confirmed.
“Teaguey’s been great for the club, he took over in 2019 and we’re right in behind him,” Cripps said.
“It’s gonna be an awesome week for him this week – obviously he used to coach at Adelaide as well.
“He’s a great guy, he’s been really good for this group and we’ll do our best to go out there and have a good crack for him and for us as well.
“The coach is copping the heat but I think we’ve all been copping the heat to be honest – the club’s been under fire.
“So it’s not only playing for him, it’s playing for everyone in the club.”
The Blues (4-9) are effectively out of finals contention but Cripps was confident there was still “a heap to gain” from 2021.