Richmond premiership skipper Trent Cotchin has revealed he planned to step down as the club's captain if the Tigers had missed the AFL finals this season.
Cotchin dropped the bombshell during his speech at the club's best-and-fairest awards night at Crown Palladium in Melbourne on Monday night.
The Tigers lost elimination finals in Cotchin's first three seasons as skipper but a disastrous 2016 campaign saw them crash to 13th.
"I remember sitting with my wife after last year and telling her that I'd give this captaincy thing one more year," Cotchin said.
"And if doesn't go well - if we bomb out again or we don't get it right - we'll see if someone else can do the job."
But Richmond's stunning resurgence was capped when he triumphantly held aloft the premiership cup at the MCG on Saturday following their grand final thumping of Adelaide.
"What a difference a year makes," Cotchin said.
"There's old expression that fishermen use that goes something like 'Sometimes you have to let the tide go out to see where the rocks are'.
"I think it's a great analogy to sum up 2016. While we didn't quite hit rock bottom, 2016 did expose a few cracks and a few rocks.
"There's another expression 'Sometimes your greatest growth comes from your hardest times'.
"So as crazy as it sounds ... in some ways 2016 just might have been a blessing dressed up as a nightmare in disguise."
Cotchin said the now famous pre-season of reflection and change, led by coach Damien Hardwick, had helped him release the mental shackles he felt bound by as a player and captain.
"I think as a group we learnt about the power of acceptance and gratitude," he said.
"I don't know how many times we've said this year 'It is what it is' or 'It will be what it will be'.
"And even while I was sweating bullets about being suspended for the grand final I had a weird kind of calm acceptance about it all.
"In the past I've probably worried about things rather than just letting go and accepting that sometimes in life shit happens and you've got to roll with it."