• Six players earning more than $1 million
• TPP up 2.05 per cent, from $200,199,169 in 2015 to $204,305,032
•Three players earning between $700-$800,000 did not play a game and five players between $500-600,000 did not play a game
THE AFL 'millionaires club' swelled to six players in 2016, with two players earning more than $1.2 million.
This represented a 50 per cent increase on 2015, when four players earned $1 million or more, but fell short of the record of eight millionaires set in 2012.
The AFL released details of the competition's 2016 total player payments (TPP) on Thursday, which revealed two players earned between $1 million and $1.1 million, two earned between $1.1 million and $1.2 million and two earned more than $1.2 million.
Sydney superstar Lance Franklin and Western Bulldogs premiership hero Tom Boyd are widely believed to be among the competition's highest paid players.
Franklin joined the Swans on a nine-year deal worth about $10 million at the end of the 2013 season. The former Hawk was paid about $700,000 in each of his first two seasons at Sydney, but his salary is understood to have risen to at least seven figures last year.
Boyd crossed to the Bulldogs from Greater Western Sydney at the end of 2014 on a seven-year deal worth about $7 million.
The 2013 draft's No.1 pick earned about $140,000 under standardised second-year player wages and match payments in his first year at the Whitten Oval, but that amount spiked markedly in 2016.
Former Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett also earned at least $1 million in 2016, while Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe, Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury and West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui were widely seen by industry sources as earning close to that mark.
Geelong superstar Patrick Dangerfield was not among 2016's millionaires, with last year's Brownlow medallist earning between $800,000-$850,000, a salary about on par with that of Cats captain Joel Selwood.
Greater Western Sydney paid several of its big-name signings seven-figure wages in its early seasons, but the salaries of players such as Tom Scully, Callan Ward and Phil Davis have since been reined in. Ward and spearhead Jeremy Cameron headed the club's 2016 pay scale at about $800,000 a season each.
AFL.com.au understands the AFL's figures did not include salaries paid to the 12 Essendon players who served season-long anti-doping bans or former Bombers Stewart Crameri (Western Bulldogs), Patrick Ryder, Angus Monfries (Port Adelaide), Jake Melksham (Melbourne) and Jake Carlisle (St Kilda) who were also suspended for participating in Essendon's 2012 supplements program.
Three of the 18 players who earned between $700,000 and $800,000 last season did not play a game, with Hawthorn captain Jarryd Roughead and former Suns midfielders Jaeger O'Meara and David Swallow among last year's sidelined players thought to be in that salary bracket.
The average wage for all listed players increased by 2.35 per cent last year to $309,208, up from $302,104 in 2015, while those who played senior games earned an average $329,210, up 1.41 per cent from $324,643 in 2015.
The competition's TPP, including additional services payments (ASAs), rose 2.05 per cent last season, up to $204,305,032 from $200,199,169 in 2015.
ASA payments increased to $19,257,040, up 3.32 per cent from $18,638,497 in 2015.
|SUMMARY OF AFL PLAYER EARNINGS|
|EARNINGS||2015 - PLAYED||2015 - LISTED||2016 - PLAYED||2016 - LISTED|