AFL: Free agency tracker

As the AFL Free Agency period approaches, Blake Gray examines the available free agents, and their current contract positions.

The Free Agency period runs from October 1st until 5pm October 19th, and the new system looks set to provide a great deal of off-season controversy, with a number of star players testing their worth on the market.


Chris Knights: Knights looks almost certain to leave the Crows after playing just five senior games in 2012. There has been a strong link to the Richmond Football Club, which the 25-year old could walk straight into as an unrestricted free agent. Melbourne is another club believed to have shown interest in him, and the Victorian looks set to return home, regardless of the destination.


Simon Black: Last week veteran midfielder Simon Black stated he was closing to re-signing on a one year deal with the Brisbane Lions.
Ash McGrath: Will look to re-sign after having a decent season prior to injury in round-14. No recorded interest from other clubs to date.
Josh Drummond (Restricted): Drummond looks set to re-sign with the Lions, although if he does decide otherwise, how many teams will be willing to take a risk on the injury-prone half back?


Jordan Russell: Russell has officially left the Blues, and will look to seek options elsewhere after managing only seven games in 2012. Russell was a runner-up best and fairest in 2010 behind captain Chris Judd, and at 25 years of age has plenty of good footy ahead of him. He looks to be an ideal candidate for many teams looking to recruit defenders. He has been linked with Geelong who look to replace an ageing backline.
Bret Thornton: Bret Thornton has announced he has left the Blues, and will try his luck as a free agent. The 28-year old could be a good inclusion for a side like GWS that looks to add experience to a young backline.
Heath Scotland (Restricted): Heath Scotland has begun contract negotiations with the Blues and the 32-year old veteran looks set to re-sign with the club on a one year contract.


Travis cloke on the out?
(Source: Herald Sun)

Ben Johnson: Johnson missed all of season 2012 with an injury, and will most likely play on for another year with the Pies. If the pies opt not to re-sign him, he looks likely to retire.
Travis Cloke (Restricted): The hype surrounding Cloke’s future is enormous, with talks being left until the end of the season. There is speculation about a move to Carlton along with former coach Mick Malthouse, although it seems he wants to re-sign with the Pies for a hefty price tag that they might not be able to afford, considering wherever he goes, he will need to show an improvement on this seasons form if he expects a million dollar contract.
Harry O’Brien (Restricted): O’Brien is expected to re-sign although they have left all contract negotiations until seasons end, which is unusual considering the number of re-signings they made throughout the season. “I want to play for Collingwood for the rest of my career,” stated Harry O’Brien earlier this year.


Ricky Dyson: Rumours are that Adelaide are interested in acquiring Ricky Dyson, and with Essendon’s season being over and no deal yet to be made, it is a possibility he will not be at Windy Hill in 2013.
Dustin Fletcher: The 37 year old veteran looks set to go again, and will be limited to another one-year contract, although retirement must still be a consideration.
David Hille: Hille seems set to retire after struggling with injury and form, although may receive a one-year deal to ensure the development of young Joe Daniher, who will be drafted to the Bombers at the end of 2012.
Nathan Lovett-Murray: Essendon are set to make the tough decision on the future of the 29 year old in the near future, although if he isn’t selected, it is doubtful any club will be interested.
Henry Slattery: His future remains in doubt, and with Port Adelaide set to be strong recruiters in the free agent market, he could well end up in South Australia where he was originally from.
Angus Monfries (Restricted): Monfries remains unsigned and has received attention from several clubs including Port Adelaide, who have reportedly offered him a four year contract. Essendon is keen to re-sign Monfries, although being from Adelaide may also persuade Monfries in the final decision.


Luke McPharlin: McPharlin is among many that have left contract negotiations until the end of the season, although he claims to have always dealt with it this way. After an All-Australian nomination this year, he would almost be certain to gather interest from other clubs, although he looks likely to re-sign with the Dockers.

Geelong Cats

Matthew Scarlett leads the team off in their elimination loss to the Dockers.
(Source: ABC Grandstand Sport)

Shannon Byrnes: Byrnes had limited opportunities this year at the Cats, and may seek opportunities elsewhere. The question is, will anybody be interested in the 28-year old? He still has speed and agility and he could be worth the chance for a low-price at a club like Gold Coast. (Melbourne is reported to be interested in his services.)
Paul Chapman: ‘Chappy’ looks set to re-sign with the Cats on a one-year deal based on his age (30), although he is currently negotiating for a two year contract.
Corey Enright: Geelong has acknowledged that Enright will play on next season; it’s just yet to be put on paper.
Josh Hunt: Hunt has shown enough this year to deserve another contract and like many others, they will wait until after finals to negotiate.
Matthew Scarlett: Scarlett applauded the crowd in Saturday night’s shock elimination by the Dockers, and apparently told the team he will be retiring after the game.
David Wojcinski: ‘Wojo’ only managed four season games in 2012, and looks to be on the out at Geelong. It’s hard to imagine any team would be interested in the soon-to-be 32 year old, and he will most likely retire at seasons end.


Chance Bateman: Looks set to retire after playing only one senior match for the year, in which he wore the green vest. Injuries have got the better of him, and Hawthorn will look to develop younger stars rather than re-sign Bateman.
Thomas Murphy: Murphy isn’t getting a great deal of opportunities behind the likes of Schoenmakers and Gibson down back, and could seek a new home during the off-season.
Michael Osborne: Osborne spent most of 2012 on the sidelines with an injured knee, and only managed six games throughout. It’s hard seeing him being offered a new contract with the likes of Gunston and Bruest really developing into key players, and essentially taking his spot in the side.
Clinton Young: Young has been consistent in his 18 games this year, and Hawthorn will be looking to re-sign him, although he should receive interest from other clubs. At only 26 he looks a handy recruit for several clubs, although it is unlikely he would want to leave the club at such a successful time.


Brent Moloney has left the Melbourne Football Club.
(Source: BigFooty)

Matthew Bate: Bate has struggled for senior games in 2012, and with Neeld doing a clean out of the club, he might not be re-signed. At only 25 years of age he could be a good recruit for a side looking to inject some experience
Lynden Dunn: Dunn’s future is currently in the balance, as Neeld continues to delist players. It is unlikely he will attract much attention as a free agent, and he will be hoping to secure a contract with Melbourne.
Jared Rivers: Rivers has publicly admitted he plans to stay at Melbourne, although being a key defender following another good season, he is sure to attract attention from other clubs. UPDATE: Geelong have shown interest and rumours suggest they may have even offered a contract, after full back Matthew Scarlett announced his retirement.
Brent Moloney (Restricted): Moloney has officially left the Melbourne Football Club, and is set to test his worth in the free agency market. Sydney and Port Adelaide have already expressed interest, although many teams will be interested in acquiring Melbourne’s 2011 best-and-fairest winner.

North Melbourne

Michael Firrito: Firrito is currently in negotiations with the Kangaroos, and looks set to re-sign.

Port Adelaide

Is Danyle Pearce headed back to Victoria?
(Source: The Age)

Troy Chaplin (Restricted): Chaplin has been linked to the Richmond Football Club, who require the services of a key position backmen, and with the current coaching position at Port Adelaide it is an option Chaplin may opt to do. If this is the case, Port Adelaide would be likely to match the offer put in front of him. This makes the situation difficult. Chaplin may then ask for a trade, or opt to re-sign with the club. If they do not, or cannot match the offer, he can leave to the club he desires, and Port Adelaide will receive an AFL-determined compensation pick.
Brett Ebert: After managing 16 games and 23 goals in 2012, it seems the 28 year old forward deserves another contract, although he is yet to be re-signed by the club, nor has he expressed interesting in leaving.
Steven Salopek: Salopek was destined to be a star, but never quite made it there. Injuries haven’t helped his career and it looks like they may end his career early. Port Adelaide seems unlikely to re-sign him and he would only be a slim chance to be selected by another side. It’s looking like it might be the time to hang up the boots earlier than expected.
Jacob Surjan: Looks unlikely to be re-signed by the club, and will have very minimal chance of being selected by another side, with no teams announcing interest as of yet.
Danyle Pearce (Restricted): Pearce looks set to test his value in the free agent market and could potentially look at moving back to Victoria. Melbourne seems a high possibility as Mark Neeld looks to improve a struggling midfield.


Shane Tuck: Shane Tuck’s career looked to be over at the end of last year, although he was able to turn it around in season 2012 and has been more than a sufficient player for the Tigers this year. He is currently in contract negotiations with the Richmond Tigers, and will look to re-sign.
Luke McGuane (Restricted): McGuane showed enough potential when moved up forward this season to deserve another contract although there has been no announcements on his future at the Tigers.

St Kilda

Rumours continue about Brendon Goddard’s future at the Saints.
(Source: Triple M)

Jason Blake: Blake would have no value on the market, and will look to secure a one year deal with the saints on a minimal wage. If he isn’t given another contract, he will most likely retire.
Raphael Clarke: Clarke is in a similar position to Blake, if he isn’t given another contract with the Saints, he will be forced to retire early, with almost no chance of recruiting from another side.
Justin Koschitzke: Coach Scott Watters has labelled Koschitzke as a ‘required player’ and will look to re-sign with the club.
Brendon Goddard (Restricted): There is huge speculation surrounding the future of Goddard. Rumours continue to fly, with strong connections with the Fremantle Dockers, who have publicly expressed interest in him. Goddard is a restricted free agent, meaning St Kilda is able to match the offer put in front of him from other clubs. Although if the rumours are true and the contract offer is as high as they say, then St Kilda will have no chance in securing Goddard. UPDATE: Essendon have also reportedly offfered Goddard a lucrative four year deal.
Jason Gram (Restricted): Jason Gram looks likely to remain at St Kilda, with a clause in his contract for another year to take him off free agency list.


Jude Bolton: Bolton is currently in negotiations with the Swans to re-sign on a one year contract.
Jarred Moore: Moore was unable to crack into the side in 2012, after playing 68 games since he debuted in 2005. He is still only 26 years of age, although it is unlikely he will be re-signed, and may try his luck in the rookie draft if he is not selected as a free agent.

West Coast

Is Quinten Lynch the key to Carlton’s key forward struggles?
(Source: The Australian)

Andrew Embley: Embley struggled with a shoulder injury this year, although the 31 year old Norm Smith medallist should be offered another one year contract, especially after his electrifying performance against North Melbourne in the elimination final.
Quinten Lynch: Carlton has expressed interest in requiring the services of the 29 year old forward, and would be an ideal candidate to fill their forward-line troubles. It is believed former premiership teammate, and current Blues captain Chris Judd has already spoken to Lynch about a potential move.
Mark Nicoski: Nicoski’s season came to an end before it started after doing his ACL at a pre-season training. After an outstanding 2011 season and with West Coast having another successful season it’s likely Nicoski will re-sign with club.

Western Bulldogs

Will Minson: Minson has expressed his desire to stay at the Western Bulldogs, although the controversial ruckman is yet to rule out a possible move via free agency. With several clubs looking for a developed ruckman, Minson could well receive a better offer after being offered only a one year deal at the dogs.

Free agency classification

A player has served eight or more seasons of AFL football at one club, is one of the top 25 per cent highest-paid players at his club, and is now out of contract for the first time since March 1 in his eighth season. (Restricted Free Agent)

– The player is eligible to field offers from all rival AFL clubs.

– If he wishes to change clubs, the player must decide on the best offer of his choice from one rival club.

– His club has the right to match the presented offer.

– If the club matches the offer, he may choose to remain with his original club, seek a trade or enter the draft.

– If the club does not or can not match the offer, the player can move to the new club of his choice.

– His original club will receive a compensation pick for the loss of the player, on an AFL-determined formula to apply where clubs lose more free agents than they gain, in any single transfer period.

A player has served eight or more seasons of AFL football at one club, is NOT one of the top 25 per cent highest-paid players at his club, and is now out of contract for the first time since reaching eight seasons of service. (Unrestricted Free Agent)

– The player is eligible to field offers from all rival AFL clubs.

– If he wishes to change clubs, the player must decide on the best offer of his choice from one rival club.

– His club does NOT have the right to match the presented offer, and the player can move AUTOMATICALLY to the new club of his choice.

– His original club will receive a compensation pick for the loss of the player, on an AFL-determined formula to apply where clubs lose more free agents than they gain in any single transfer period.

A player has served ten or more seasons of AFL football at one club, has already come out of contract once in the period after March 1 in his eighth season, and is now out of contract. (Unrestricted Free Agent)

– The player is eligible to field offers from all rival clubs.

– If he wishes to change clubs, the player must decide on the best offer of his choice from one rival club.

– His club does NOT have the right to match the presented offer, and the player can move AUTOMATICALLY to the new club of his choice.

– His original club will receive a compensation pick for the loss of the player, on an AFL-determined formula to apply where clubs lose more free agents than they gain in any single transfer period.

(Source of information:

Blake Gray is a first year Bachelor of Journalism (Sport) student at La Trobe University.

Follow him on Twitter @Blake_gray14


3 thoughts on “AFL: Free agency tracker

  1. Good on you, Blake, for studying journalism. I’m an American Aussie Rules fan and former daily newspaper reportwr who now teaches journalism to high school students. I’ve signed up for your updates. What are your sources telling you about Brendon Goddard possibly heading to my favorite team, Freo? What about the Dockers getting a tall like Essendon’s Scott Gumbleton in a trade and who might be traded?

    • Hi Gil,
      Sorry for the late reply, we have the week off university and I decided to go away with some friends.
      Matt answered your question well, and my sources were generally the Herald Sun, AFL Website and radio stations in Melbourne that have an emphasis on AFL like Triple M and SEN.
      This article would be a very good read if you would like to know more on Fremantle’s current position on Goddard and Gumbleton –
      In summary, Gumbleton is on Fremantle’s radar and if Goddard signs with Essendon who have offered a four-year contract, he is almost certain to leave Windy Hill, with Fremantle being the likely home of the injury-prone forward.
      Thanks for your support and I am glad you have enjoyed our readings.
      I am also in the process of updating this article with free agents that have retired, signed, or expressed interest in a move, so be sure to check it out.
      Blake Gray

  2. Hi Gil,
    Thanks for your interest! That’s all we hope- people that are passionate reading pieces from other passionate followers of sports!

    Looks like the Goddard deal for Freo will go ahead, and be the first big move under the new free agency rule. He has displayed signs post season that indicate he will not sign on with the Saints. The fact that former coach Ross Lyon is now coaching the Dockers is obviously a big puller for him, as well as the money set to be offered. However as with Travis Cloke and the Pies/Blues saga, the tentative nature of this first free agency period in the AFL means that talks are always stalling and starting again. Essendon are also said to have been in talks with him, but at this stage Fremantle are still favourites to snap him up- just.

    As for Gumbleton, he is out of contract I believe, and Essendon do have strong ties with Fremantle for trading. Kepler Bradley, McPhee to name a couple, but that was during the (former Bomber player and Freo coach) Mark Harvey tenure. Gumbleton has been offered a one year contract with the Bombers, but it’s unsure if he will take it- it’s not very enticing for him. He is injury prone however, and may not be wroth too much in trade value. Then again, Freo are known for getting the best out of out of favour Bombers! May be worth a punt.

    Fremantle are currently well placed looking forward to the next couple of years, especially if you can pinch Goddard. However key players are starting to age, and your calls for another tall have a lot of base around them. I think Freo were in the mix for grabbing Travis Cloke from the Magpies, but Carlton are currently in the box seat behind the Pies for retaining him.

    Freo’s best bet is to draft a young tall forward/back with their first couple of picks- they are hard to come by, but in a few years when Pavlich, McPharlin and Sandilands become a little too old, you should have a good young crop, with a developed midfield.

    Hope that helps,

    Matt Walsh

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