Crows captain denies fight with Jake Lever
ADELAIDE captain Taylor Walker has vehemently denied having a "punch-up'' with Melbourne-bound defender Jake Lever.
Walker has admitted to being "blunt" with Lever when he told him two days after the Crows' grand final loss to Richmond that he wanted out of the club.
But he said speculation that he had broken his right hand in a fight with the All-Australian-nominated backman were "incorrect'' and that his hand had been bandaged after finger surgery last Thursday.
"I did not have a crack at him," Walker told Triple M radio.
"I was pretty honest because I don't like people leaving our footy club.
"I said if that was the decision he wanted to make then I'm not going to agree with him because I don't like people leaving our footy club.
"But I don't think I was arrogant or aggressive towards him. I was probably just blunt."
Walker said he did not know of 21-year-old Lever's intention to leave the Crows to seek a move to the Demons until two days after Adelaide's shock eight-goal grand final loss.
"That's when he rang me and told me," Walker said.
"It was pretty much to do with money. He said he had decided to leave the footy club and I said 'Mate, if that's the decision you want to make two days out from losing a grand final, I think our footy club is going in the right direction'.
"I pretty much said to him he's choosing money over success."
Walker said it took him "a couple of days" to get over Lever's decision.
"Because I am pretty loyal and I would love everyone to stay," he said.
Walker said he had heard all the "whispers and rumours" that Lever wanted out of the club but refused to believe them until the player told him.
"When he rang me on the Monday that's when I knew," he said.
"I think for Jake the difference in money (offers between Adelaide and Melbourne) was a lot and to be driven by money or success is a decision you need to make."
Lever reportedly had been offered $3 million for four years to join the Demons, who are trying to orchestrate a trade with the Crows, who are demanding two first-round draft picks for him.
Melbourne's initial offer is its first- (No.10) and second-round (27) picks this year.
Walker said to Lever's credit he did not let his intention to leave the Crows affect his performances.
"I give full credit to Jake because he rocked up every day (to training), he bought into our program, he trained hard and he set high standards and that's all I can ask from a player," he said.
"Right to the end he gave us all he had."
Walker said he was uncertain about speedy forward-midfielder Charlie Cameron's desire to join Brisbane while he hoped Adelaide could sign Geelong's Steven Motlop as a free agent.