The former Melbourne captain reacted with shock after it was revealed on Tuesday that rival clubs are weighing up how much it would cost to prise Oliver out of his monster contract, as reported by afl.com.au’s Callum Twomey and Riley Beveridge.
That revelation was followed by 9News Melbourne’s Braden Ingram’s report that “Oliver’s attitude has raised eyebrows at times, with his absence from recent post-season celebrations noted internally”.
“I couldn’t believe what I was reading,” Lyon said of the trade report on SEN radio on Wednesday.
“I’m horrified at the prospect. You know he’s one of my all-time favourites. I’m horrified at the thought that this [trade could happen].”
Since landing at the the Demons via pick four in the 2015 draft, Oliver has played 162 AFL games, scored three All-Australian blazers, claimed four club best and fairest awards and won two AFL Coaches Association Player of the Year awards.
The midfield bull was also a key cog in Melbourne’s 2021 AFL flag triumph.
“If I’m other clubs, 100 per cent I’m doing all of that [asking the question of Melbourne],” Lyon added.
“But you’re saying this is not a foregone conclusion. So from that point of view, [if I’m Melbourne] I’m saying: ‘Hey, just cool here. This is a generational midfield talent right now who at 26 years of age has done some stuff not many have done’.”
Lyon’s SEN radio co-host, former Essendon skipper Tim Watson, thinks relationships must have fractured.
“Something’s happened, somewhere,” Watson said.
“It’s unsettling when you’re a fan of a club and you read this. There’d be a lot of Melbourne fans waking up to this news this morning and thinking: ‘What the hell is going on?’.
“And a lot of people will dismiss the story … but there potentially is [something on it].
“There must be some form of disconnect right now.”
Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes has long been a critic of clubs handing out long-term contracts.
He also raised concern about Oliver’s relationships with club personnel and hit out over the 26-year-old’s seven-year deal.
“This deal hasn’t even started, he’s one of their best players ever and they’re looking to trade him. I’m suspicious of this, I think there must be serious issues off the field happening for this to even be considered,” Cornes said on AFL Trade Radio on Wednesday morning.
“[The long-term deal] is fraught with danger. There is a subconscious level of comfortability that comes by having that long-term tenure. If they [the Dees] are worried about his professionalism, well that comes because he knows regardless of what happens, he gets paid $1 million a year for seven years, regardless whether he gets a kick, whether he plays or trains like he had when he was hunting for this deal.
“This would be an embarrassing situation for Melbourne now.”
This year’s trade period will begin next Monday and run until Wednesday, October 18.