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Tigers look to balance pay scale

Jack Riewoldt of the Tigers looks on during the 2013 AFL Round 17 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Fremantle Dockers at the MCG, Melbourne on July 21, 2013. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Jack Riewoldt of the Tigers looks on during the 2013 AFL Round 17 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Fremantle Dockers at the MCG, Melbourne on July 21, 2013. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)

Richmond is no longer a club that can afford to overpay its stars, coach Damien Hardwick says, as it looks to lock away it key players and target opposition talent.

Key forward Jack Riewoldt and midfielder Dustin Martin remain out of contract beyond this season, with both players currently negotiating new deals.

Hardwick said the ongoing negotiations were not a distraction for the Tigers and he remained confident both would re-sign.

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However, Richmond could no longer just focus on keeping its best players at the club at the expense of others as the depth on its list grows.

"We're probably at a stage now where we don't have to overpay our players," Hardwick said on Thursday. 

"Previously, when we were a struggling club, we had to keep the talent and pay them accordingly.

"Now we're at the stage where we've got to manage our salary cap a lot better.

"We're certainly looking to keep our talent but also bring talent in to help us win. It's a very fine balancing act."