WATCH IN THE VIDEO ABOVE: Two big Victorian clubs hunt Giant jet
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Meanwhile, North Melbourne’s new coach Alastair Clarkson is on the hunt for players and recently said that St Kilda’s Bradley Hill – who he coached at Hawthorn and is reportedly open to a trade – would “look alright in blue and white”.
7NEWS reporter Mitch Cleary says Hawthorn veteran Liam Shiels could also be on Clarkson’s radar, with the super coach admitting North Melbourne would try to recruit “ready made and proven” players.
Another ex-Hawk, Lance Franklin, could also be on the move after he parked contract talks with Sydney. It’s been reported Franklin wants around $250,000 more than the $500,000 that the Swans are prepared to offer. Franklin has been linked to a move to Brisbane and the Lions have said they would be crazy not to chat Buddy if he wanted leave.
The free agency period begins on Friday, September 30, with the trade period officially running from Monday, October 3, to Wednesday, October 12. The deadline is 7.30pm AEDT.
While a potential Buddy move will create plenty of discussion, the biggest trade shock could come out of Collingwood – where the under-contract Brodie Grundy might end up leaving and the Pies may end up contributing $300,000 of his wage to his new club.
Grundy has been linked to Melbourne and Geelong but a move to the Dees depends on whether young ruckman Luke Jackson heads to Fremantle, with some commentators suggesting that is already a foregone conclusion.
Controversial Collingwood star Jordan De Goey is another player who could leave, with reports St Kilda are interested – to the extent his name has been raised at board level.
And if you thought the Buddy and Grundy news couldn’t be topped, a certain three-time Norm Smith medallist could also be in different colours next year. Could the Swans lose Buddy and get Dustin Martin? We’ll say it again – a blockbuster trade period awaits.
Players linked to trades, and every free agent
Matt Crouch – the ball-winning mid is out of favour at Adelaide but the 27-year-old still looks to be AFL standard. Does have a contract for next year but could be on the move.
Ben Davis (free agent) – hasn’t been linked to another club as yet.
Billy Frampton – Collingwood is apparently keen on the versatile tall.
Lachie Sholl – under contract but has been linked to a move to Carlton.
James Rowe – the small forward has been linked to a move to the Western Bulldogs. Remains unsigned.
Fischer McAsey – a top-10 draft pick in 2019, the key-position defender hasn’t been able to find his feet at Adelaide. Carlton’s list boss has reportedly been watching him at SANFL level.
Darcy Gardiner (Restricted free agent) – rival clubs are keeping an eye on the Lions defender.
Ryan Lester (Free agent) – respected internally and hard to see moving.
Daniel McStay (Free agent) – the key forward is all but certain to join Collingwood on a long-term deal.
Dayne Zorko (Free agent) – won’t be leaving Brisbane.
Mitch Robinson (Free agent) – has fallen a bit out of favour and could retire.
Ed Curnow (free agent) – hasn’t played a game this year due to injury and faces an uncertain future.
Paddy Dow – not getting too many opportunities at senior level and could be one to watch.
Matt Cottrell (free agent) – another without a fresh contract despite featuring in every game since round five.
Lochie O’Brien (free agent) – coming off a career-best season, a contract extension has been reported but is yet to be made official.
Mason Cox (free agent) – expected to get a new deal.
Jordan De Goey (restricted free agent) – the controversial bad boy doesn’t have many suitors but St Kilda are interested.
Brodie Grundy – incredible to think that he could end up at Melbourne alongside Max Gawn. Geelong are reportedly interested, GWS too.
Ollie Henry – tipped to stay but out of contract.
Caleb Poulter – future unclear with Collingwood having other priorities.
Isaac Chugg (free agent) – featured in two senior games this year and will likely win a new deal.
Nick Bryan – expect clubs, including St Kilda, to inquire about the ruckman who can’t crack into the team.
Aaron Francis – the South Australian only managed four games this year to take his tally to 54 since 2016.
Dyson Heppell (free agent) – the veteran has been linked to Gold Coast, who have a longer contract on the table that includes a move into coaching.
Alec Waterman (free agent) – unclear if the sharpshooter gets a new deal with limited opportunities this year.
Blake Acres – is out of contract and has attracted a lot of interest from Victorian clubs.
Bailey Banfield (free agent) – remains on the fringe despite kicking 18 goals this year. Will be an interesting one to watch.
Connor Blakely (free agent) – hard to see him staying at Freo after not playing a senior game this year. Still only 26 and could benefit from a fresh start.
Brennan Cox – is contracted until 2024 but there are suggestions Adelaide are keen.
Mitch Crowden (free agent) – another Docker on the outer who appears unlikely to be at the club next year.
Joel Hamling – has only played two games in past two years, but still only 29 and could be attractive for clubs needing key position depth.
Rory Lobb – tried to leave last year, hard to see him staying again. 7NEWS reporter Tom Browne says Lobb has already told Fremantle he wants to leave, and believes the Bulldogs are in the box seat.
Griffin Logue – former top-10 draft pick has taken his time but has shown promise at AFL level. Is reportedly out the door.
Lloyd Meek – with Luke Jackson likely to come in, Meek will be further down the pecking order and could be surplus to requirements. Linked to GWS.
Sam Sturt – one to watch and still without a deal.
Luke Dahlhaus (free agent) – expected to retire at end of season.
Tom Hawkins (free agent) – expected to get a new deal.
Shaun Higgins (free agent) – expected to retire at end of season.
Joel Selwood (free agent) – will either stay on for one more year or retire.
Isaac Smith (free agent) – expected to play on for another season.
Levi Casboult (free agent) – revived his career with a brilliant first season at Suns and deserves a new deal.
Jez McLennan (free agent) – yet to play a senior game after four years at the club. Qualifies as a free agent after being delisted and re-rookied at end of last season.
Izak Rankine – has told the Suns he wants to return to his home state and play for Adelaide.
Jarrod Brander (free agent) – expected to stay after underwhelming first year at GWS.
Tanner Bruhn – the former Geelong Falcons mid has been linked to a move to Geelong, but could end up at a Melbourne club. Reportedly keen for a move.
Tom Green – GWS will make him a priority with other mids likely to leave.
Nick Haynes – under contract but his name has come up as a possible trade.
Bobby Hill – the small forward tried to leave GWS last year, but appears to get his wish this year with Collingwood the likely destination.
Jacob Hopper – the inside midfielder is being targeted heavily by Geelong, but still has a year to run on his contract.
Lachie Keeffe (free agent) – featured in 18 games this year, but his future might depend on other deals at the club.
Zach Sproule (free agent) – only managed six games in 2022.
Jake Stein (free agent) – played nine games this year, but could be deemed surplus to requirements.
Daniel Lloyd (free agent) – appears likely to win a new deal.
Tim Taranto – the star midfielder touched down in Melbourne this week with Richmond looming as the frontrunner ahead of Collingwood, who are focusing their attentions on Hill.
Jacob Wehr (free agent) – looked good in his 10 games this year and would be a surprise to see him leave.
Luke Breust – still under contract but reports suggest his future at Hawthorn is under a cloud. GWS Giants were interested last year.
Jack Gunston (free agent) – the Lions are chasing the veteran forward and he could be a replacement for McStay.
Kyle Hartigan (free agent) – unlikely to stay at the club.
Daniel Howe (free agent) – in and out of the side in 2022. Will be an interesting watch.
Liam Shiels (free agent) – appears to have played his last game at the Hawks. Could he reunite with Clarko at the Roos?
Toby Bedford – Essendon have shown some interest in the Melbourne forward, while the Giants are also reportedly keen.
Jayden Hunt (free agent) – still without a contract despite featuring in 18 games this year.
Luke Jackson – West Australian ruckman is likely to land at Fremantle but West Coast are a slim chance.
Mitch Brown (free agent) – played three games this year, but hard to see him winning a new deal.
Todd Goldstein (free agent) – is keen to play on, but remains to be seen whether that’s at North. Recently turned 34, but remains as durable as ever.
Kyron Hayden (free agent) – has struggled to lock down a spot in the Roos’ best 22. Played just 17 games across past four years.
Jason Horne-Francis – has another year on his contract but the young star is yet to engage in talks of extension.
Bailey Scott – the Cats have been linked to the dashing defender four years after he chose North Melbourne over Geelong when he was eligible to join either club as a father-son selection.
Kayne Turner (free agent) – has been a first-team regular, but will he be part of Clarko’s plans moving forward?
Josh Walker (free agent) – held down a key defensive post for much of the year, but no certainty to win a new deal.
Cam Zurhaar – appears more likely to take up a contract offer from North in the wake of Clarkson’s appointment, but Essendon have made inquiries and he has also been linked to a move to his home state of WA.
Karl Amon (free agent) – has told the club he wants to exercise his free agency rights and will join Hawthorn on a four-year deal.
Travis Boak (free agent) – likely to play on after another strong season.
Trent Dumont (free agent) – survived the first round of delistings, but remains unsigned.
Trent Cotchin (free agent) – should get another deal from the Tigers after a strong year.
Dustin Martin – talk of the superstar getting out of Victoria won’t go away. The Swans have hosed down their interest but no one would be surprised if he ended up in the Harbour City.
Bigoa Nyuon (free agent) – has been delisted once but managed to make his debut this year after impressing on the track.
Jack Riewoldt (free agent) – no new deal yet but hard to see him leaving.
Tom Campbell (free agent) – only played two games in 2022, but the ruckman might be kept after Paddy Ryder hung up the boots
Bradley Hill – his former coach Alastair Clarkson is interested and the speedster is reportedly open to a trade despite having two years to run on his contract.
Darragh Joyce (free agent) – appears unlikely to remain after managing just 13 games in five seasons.
Jarrod Lienert (free agent) – faces a nervous wait after playing 11 games in his first season at the club.
Mason Wood (free agent) – played 19 games this year and would appear likely to win a new deal.
Harry Cunningham (free agent) – one of Sydney’s leaders but has failed to force his way back into the team after injury.
Robbie Fox (free agent) – was delisted and re-rookied last year but is expected to get another deal after a really solid back half of the season at AFL level.
Lance Franklin (free agent) – Sydney are said to be lowballing the superstar as Franklin’s management hints at retirement. Interestingly, Buddy’s wife Jesinta is now an accredited player agent.
Will Gould – the young South Australian is still yet to debut.
Jake Lloyd (free agent) – likely to put pen to paper on a new deal to be a Swan for life
Paddy McCartin (free agent) – looks set to extend his contract with Swans.
Lewis Melican – has fallen back in the pecking order and the Victorian is open to a move.
Sam Naismith (free agent) – popular big man could be delisted with injuries ruining his career.
Sam Reid (free agent) – has returned to his best form and is expected to be rewarded by Sydney, but there has been talks other clubs might inquire.
Lewis Taylor (free agent) – the former Rising Star winner is now well back in the pecking order and may struggle to stay on the list. Unclear if there is outside interest.
Hugh Dixon (free agent) – played 10 games as a pre-season signing, but would be unlikely to win a new deal.
Shannon Hurn (free agent) – set to continue his career on a one-year deal.
Jamaine Jones (free agent) – impressed in his 18 games, but still faces a nervous wait.
Tom Joyce (free agent) – Didn’t feature at senior level and would be a surprise to see him remain at the club.
Patrick Naish (free agent) – made an instant impression after joining the club in March, but didn’t feature after round 12.
Nic Naitanui (free agent) – hard to see him going anywhere else. Eagles coach Adam Simpson expects a new deal and a full pre-season despite Naitanui recently undergoing ankle surgery.
Jackson Nelson (free agent) – rival clubs are reportedly monitoring his contract situation.
Junior Rioli – has an offer on the table to remain at the club, but rivals Port Adelaide and North Melbourne are interested.
Alex Witherden – out of contract and out of favour, could he benefit from a move to a third club?
Zaine Cordy (free agent) – despite a lack of defensive stocks at the Dogs, he’s still without a contract. Watch this space.
Josh Dunkley – it’s a hot race for the ball-magnet with Essendon (like last year) again keen and Brisbane and Port Adelaide also interested. 7NEWS Melbourne’s Tom Browne reports Dunkley is eyeing off a long-term deal and is 50-50 to stay at the Dogs.
Jason Johannisen (free agent) – 7NEWS reporter Mitch Cleary reported in July that Johannisen has put off contract talks with the Dogs and is assessing the free agency market.
Taylor Duryea (free agent) – is back in the team and has played 15 games this season despite some injury concerns. No suggestion he will be on the move at this stage.
Stefan Martin (free agent) – hard to see the veteran ruckman getting a new deal.
Toby McLean (free agent) – injury cursed but reportedly close to signing an extension with the Dogs.
Mitch Wallis (free agent) – injured and finds himself on the outer again. His future at the club remains unclear.