Carlton co-captain Patrick Cripps has signed a monster new six-year contract in a huge boost for the under-fire AFL club.
The Blues (4-9) are out of finals contention and have commissioned an external review of their underperforming football department as they seek answers to this year's shortcomings.
But Cripps' signature comes as a strong vote of confidence for the direction he sees the club taking in future seasons.
Originally from Western Australia, the 26-year-old midfielder was due to become a restricted free agent at the end of this year and he attracted plenty of interest from rival clubs, including West Coast and Fremantle.
"This place has become home - my decision was that simple," Cripps said.
"I couldn't be more confident in what we are building here.
"It is not always going to be smooth sailing, but this group will not stop working until we achieve what we are striving for - winning that 17th premiership.
"We've been through some tough periods as a group and we'll continue to be challenged but none of that will shake our belief in the direction we are heading and what we are capable of."
Dual All-Australian Cripps has played 131 games for Carlton in eight seasons and is a three-time best-and-fairest winner.
He flagged his intention to remain at the club earlier this year but took time to agree to the details of his new deal.
"We've never seen a player more invested in seeing their football club succeed than Patrick Cripps," Blues list boss Nick Austin said.
"We all know he is a quality player but more importantly he is an exceptional Carlton person, who cares deeply about seeing this football club succeed.
"From the moment we sat down to discuss Patrick re-signing, he made it clear he wanted what was best for the football club - that tells you the calibre of person he is."
Cripps' new deal comes in the same month key forward Harry McKay signed a two-year contract to remain at Carlton.
The 14th-placed Blues take on Adelaide at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.
Australian Associated Press