The 2021 AFL trade and free agency periods are fast approaching.
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Latest AFL trade news
Tuesday, September 14
Lion ruckman Archie Smith requests trade
Fringe Brisbane Lions ruckman Archie Smith has asked for a trade away from the club in a bid to get more opportunity.
The 26-year-old didn’t manage to play match in 2021 as he found himself behind Oscar McInerney, Tom Fullarton and Connor Ballenden in the ruck pecking order.
Smith has played 16 games for the Lions since being drafted at pick 34 in the 2019 Rookie Draft.
Suitors for Smith have not yet emerged but Gold Coast are reportedly in the market for a ruckman.
Monday, September 13
Carlton in battle with Melbourne for Fremantle gun Adam Cerra
Carlton face competition in securing the services of Fremantle star Adam Cerra, with premiership favourites Melbourne keen on the Victorian midfielder.
Cerra is expected to nominate the Blues as his preferred destination after the Grand Final, but is no rush for his future to be sorted.
The Demons are believed to be interested in Cerra but won’t be having talks about the situation until after September 25’s Grand Final.
Carlton have the No.6 draft pick in their arsenal to satisfy Fremantle to release Cerra, while Melbourne would need to get more creative as they will have one of the last two picks in the first round.
It is understood the suggestion Demons ruckman Luke Jackson could be traded to the Dockers for Cerra has been dismissed by both Melbourne and the player.
Saturday, September 11
Port Adelaide in box seat for Jordan Dawson
Classy left footer Jordan Dawson has requested a trade back to his native South Australia and will reportedly land at Port Adelaide.
According to SEN‘s Sam Edmund, the Power could give up pick 17 for the 24-year-old.
“My understanding is he’s destined for Port Adelaide,” Edmund said
“I think that’s where he wants to play and the feeling is mutual. 12 months after Aliir Aliir leaves Sydney for the Power, history is about to repeat with Jordan Dawson.
“Port Adelaide would have to part with pick 17, there’s going to be some massaging down here considering he’s 24 years of age, he’s a brilliant kick and he’s versatile.”
Friday, September 10
Swans star Jordan Dawson requests trade
Sydney Swans midfielder Jordan Dawson has requested a trade home to South Australia after 64 games with the club.
Despite being out of contract, the 24-year-old is not a free agent and a trade will need to be made.
The club confirmed the news on Friday evening, with Swans general manager of football Charlie Gardiner admitting they were disappointed, but understood his decision.
“Jordan has indicated to the club his desire to return to South Australia to be closer to family,” he said.
“Jordan has been weighing up this decision for some time and despite there being an attractive long-term deal on offer with the Swans, he has arrived at the decision that he would like to return home.
“The news is obviously disappointing for the club. Jordan is a young, hugely talented player who is coming off a breakout season in 2021, which only adds to the disappointment.
“Given we have only learned the news this afternoon, we will take some time to work through the Club’s options leading into the trade period,” Gardiner said.
Crows backman Kelly wants out of Adelaide, linked with Essendon
Adelaide defender Jake Kelly will reportedly leave the club as a free agent and join Essendon for the 2022 season, AFL Media reports.
The 26-year-old Victorian is uncontracted and has decided to use his rights as a free agent to explore a move back to his home state.
North Melbourne were believed to have been interested in Kelly, but it’s understood Essendon have won the race to sign him.
Kelly has played 110 games for the Crows since being drafted with pick 40 in the 2013 Rookie Draft.
Why Lachie Neale abandoned plan to leave Brisbane
Brisbane star Lachie Neale was put off by the publicity surrounding his possible move back to Western Australia, according to AFL journalist Damian Barrett.
A report earlier in the week stated Neale was going to seek a trade back to Fremantle for family reasons, with Brisbane then saying discussions with the 2020 Brownlow medallist were ongoing.
However, Neale announced he would be staying at the club on Thursday.
Speaking on the AFL Daily podcast, Barrett feels Neale was rushed into making a decision after the saga become public, instead of taking the time to think things through.
“I read it that he wasn’t able to do the legwork on the potential transaction behind the scenes long enough,” Barrett said. “He got spooked by the public element to it.
“He would have ideally been able to have these conversations without it being public, as it was for a week, and without it then needing an answer pretty quickly.
“These are the sorts of things that could have been done, in Lachie’s best interests, on the day of trade period starting. That’s when some of these big moves have happened in the past.”
Richmond pair being targeted by the Suns
Gold Coast Suns are preparing bids for uncontracted Richmond duo Mabior Chol and Callum Coleman-Jones.
The two Tiger ruck-forward’s both remain unsigned for next season as they weigh up their future after being in-and-out of the team in 2021.
With Ben King needing support in attack and out of contract at end of 2022, the Suns are looking to bring in one or two forwards in the upcoming trade and draft period.
Gold Coast would be prepared to offer multi-year deals for Coleman-Jones or Chol – contracts that would likely be more lucrative than they could secure at Tigerland.
Richmond would like to keep both Coleman-Jones and Chol, but opportunities are limited for both with Jack Riewoldt, Tom Lynch and Toby Nankervis ahead of the pair in ruck and forward line positions.
Thursday, September 9
Neale to stay in Brisbane
Lions midfielder Lachie Neale has confirmed he’ll remain at the club.
The reigning Brownlow Medal winner has been linked with a move back to Western Australia in recent days but the 28-year-old put those rumours to bed.
“I’m committed and staying at the footy club,” Neale said.
“It’s been a whirlwind few days and everything has sort of gotten a little out of hand but I’m fully committed to the club and came in and told (coach Chris Fagan), (football manager) Danny Daly and (CEO) Greg Swann that’s the case and I’m so excited to be pushing on.”
Demons linked to move for Cerra
Fremantle midfielder Adam Cerra has already informed the club of his wish to return to Victoria, but his destination remains unclear.
Carlton is the club most heavily linked to the 21-year-old, but The Age reports Melbourne could come to the party, having presented to the onballer via video call this week.
The report claims Melbourne could offer a similar deal to the Blues, but Carlton have a stronger hand to trade with.
Freo could potentially enquire about emerging ruck-forward Luke Jackson, but the Dees won’t trade the recently crowned Rising Star.
Jarrod Cameron announces his own departure?
Young West Coast small forward Jarrod Cameron is contracted for 2022 but may have just announced his own departure from the club.
The 21-year-old posted to Instagram a photo alongside teammates Willie Rioli and Liam Ryan with the caption “Thanks for the time.”
Word out of the Eagles at the moment is Cameron has not requested a trade or been delisted, does he know something they don’t?
Essendon emerge in Dylan Stephens hunt
Off-contract Swan Dylan Stephens has been linked with a move away from the club in search of more senior opportunity.
The South Australian has been offered a two-year deal by Sydney but the club’s salary cap situation and just 15 senior games in his first two seasons could force the former number five pick out.
Fox Footy‘s Tom Morris reports the Bombers are interested.
“There’s definite interest from Adelaide, there’s also interest from Essendon,” Morris said.
“He was starved of senior opportunities this year, he clearly wants to have more senior opportunities.
“It’s just whether he feels that’s going to be at the Swans, where a two-year deal is on the table, or at Essendon. Watch this space with Dylan Stephens.”
Wednesday, September 8
Sydney star Luke Parker turns back on free agency
Reigning and three-time Swans best and fairest Luke Parker has signed a four-year contract extension , likely tying him to the club for life.
“I absolutely love the club and I wanted to be part of the long term and really drive the group through this next period,” he said.
“I’m really excited about what the future looks like. We have a great group and we have taken some big steps forward this year.
“The group we’ve got coming through is so exciting. We’ve got some young guys who are just starting out in their careers and you ride the bumps with them, you ride the exciting times with them, and it’s such good fun.”
Parker, 28, has played 235 games with the Swans since being picked up in the 2010 draft.
Freo boss weighs in on Lachie Neale situation
Dockers CEO Simon Garlick has warned the club will be “objective” in any move for star midfielder Lachie Neale if a trade request was to come.
“It’s a really exciting prospect based on the player that he is and what he’s achieved so far in the game, but that’s what it is at the moment in reality, it’s a hypothetical situation,” Garlick said on Sportsday WA .
“The reality is if you pull it apart forensically it’s well regarded that we’ve got some strong coverage in that area inside mid, but the reality is also that a player of that ilk and that quality is clearly something you’d be enthusiastic to look at closely.
“Like anything when you look at these things you’ve got to be really objective about it all.”
Meanwhile, Neale’s father has warned media and fans to cool their jets on his son’s future.
“He hasn’t requested a trade. The disappointing thing was that it hit the media and it’s gone into meltdown the last couple of days,” Robbie Neale told ABC radio in South Australia.
“Certain sections of the footy media have had strong opinions about it, but they’re five steps ahead of reality.
“The reality is it’s purely a discussion that was had internally.
“This is a bit like there’s a bushfire happening, but as far as we’re concerned the match isn’t even out of the box.”
Tuesday, September 7
AFL hoping to lure Clarkson to Gold Coast
The AFL is reportedly attempting to lure Alastair Clarkson north to coach the Suns in a bid to bring some success to the club which is yet to play finals footy.
Journalist Caroline Wilson revealed AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan was invovled.
“I think Gillon McLachlan is working on Alastair Clarkson as we speak, and has been for some time to get him to the Gold Coast,” Wilson said on Footy Classified .
“I think Stuart Dew will assume the [caretaker] role next year and I think Wayne Campbell will come in pretty soon and take over the footy operations job at the Gold Coast.”
Bob Murphy joins Fremantle
Former Bulldogs skipper Bob Murphy has joined Fremantle as a head of football involved in both the AFL and AFLW teams.
“We are delighted to welcome Bob into both our AFL and AFLW programs in the role of Head of Football and High Performance,” Dockers footy manager Peter Bell said.
“It was clear how highly valued and respected he was at the Western Bulldogs and these leadership traits will be especially important at Fremantle as we look to foster the development of our young and talented AFL and AFLW lists.
“It’s especially important to the club that Bob has been an incredible advocate of the AFL Women’s competition and we are excited about him bringing that passion to Fremantle ahead of season six commencing in January.”
Monday, September 6
Brisbane reveal Lachie Neale is yet to ask for a trade amid Fremantle rumours
Lachie Neale has not yet requested a trade back to previous club Fremantle, the Brisbane Lions confirmed on Monday afternoon.
Reports were swirling on Sunday night suggesting the 2020 Brownlow medallist would seek a move back to the Dockers – where he started his career – for family reasons.
However a Lions statement said the 28-year-old had not yet officially asked to leave Brisbane but was still in discussions with his family and the club about his future.
“The Brisbane Lions have today met with midfielder Lachie Neale,” the statement read.
“Lions CEO Greg Swann, GM of Football Danny Daly and Senior Coach Chris Fagan sat down with the Brownlow medallist following reports he was seeking to return to Western Australia.
“Neale and his wife Jules are expecting their first child and he has confirmed the couple are weighing up where they would like to raise their family.
“He did not request a trade but has asked for some time to have further discussions with his wife and family.
“The Lions will not make any further comment at this stage and we request that Lachie and Jules’ privacy be respected.”
Neale began his career at Fremantle in 2012, playing 135 games and winning two club best and fairest awards before seeking a sensational trade to the Lions at the end of the 2018 season.
Since joining Brisbane, Neale won the Brownlow medal in 2020 and has been a two-time All Australian, with the Lions finishing top four in all three seasons he has been at the club.
North Melbourne put the broom through fitness staff
The Kangaroos will attempt to change their recent injury fortunes by overhauling their fitness staff.
North have struggled to keep their best players on the park in recent seasons and this year picked up their first wooden spoon since 1972.
SEN reports five high-performance staff were this week let go, joining three fitness personnel who departed during the season.
Sunday, September 5
Brownlow Medalist Lachie Neale’s trade wish bombshell
Saturday’s agonising finals loss to the Bulldogs could mark the end of midfielder Lachie Neale’s time at the Lions.
According to Channel 7 reporter Ryan Daniels, last year’s Brownlow Medal winner was keen to be traded back to former club Fremantle next season.
Daniels reports Neale and his wife wish to raise their family in Western Australia.
Given Neale is under contract, the Dockers would need to present a suitable trade offer to the Lions to acquire the 28-year-old.
Neale joined Brisbane from Fremantle at the start of 2019 and has become one of the most dominant midfielders in the game, earning dual All-Australian honours in his first two seasons under Chris Fagan.
Saturday, September 4
Ziebell and Tarrant seeking longer term deals
North Melbourne veterans Jack Ziebell and Robbie Tarrant remain unsigned for next season.
According to SEN , the pair are keen on securing longer term deals with the club, while the Roos have only offered one-year contracts at this point.
Captain Ziebell will be 31 by the start of next season, while key defender Tarrant is 32.
Sam Edmund also reports the futures of Shaun Atley, Trent Dumont and Tom Campbell remain unclear.
Crouch signs new deal with Adelaide
The Crows have confirmed star midfielder Matt Crouch will remain at the club after he signed a two-year contract extension .
Crouch, 26, didn’t play a game in 2021 after a troublesome groin injury required surgery.
AFL.com.au reports Crouch signed the new deal at a reduced rate, having gained an idea of his value on the open market.
Crouch has played 125 matches with Adelaide and was named All Australian in 2017.
Friday, September 3
Star Swan Dawson firming to head home
Sydney utility Jordan Dawson is considering a move back to South Australia with either Adelaide or Port Adelaide.
The 24-year-old – who finished third in the Swans’ best and fairest – is understood to be contemplating leaving Sydney for family reasons, not because of any salary issues.
Dawson excelled for the Bloods in 2021, playing in a variety of roles through the wing and half-forward regions.
Lipinksi to request trade to Victorian rival
The Herald Sun reports midfielder Patrick Lipinski has decided to leave the Western Bulldogs and will request a trade away from the club.
Lipinksi has played 56 games for the club but has fallen out of favour in the second half of 2021.
Carlton and Collingwood are the two clubs linked with the out-of-contract 23-year-old, though the Blues are also involved in the race for Fremantle’s Adam Cerra.
Thursday, September 2
Crows make pitch to Shaun Burgoyne
Retired great Shaun Burgoyne has been fielding offers for post-career roles around the competition, with Adelaide reportedly making a strong play for the 407-gamer.
“He’s in-demand at a lot of places… he’s got a lot to offer. It comes down to what Adelaide is prepared to put on the table,” journalist Michelangelo Rucci said on SEN .
“They’ve gone hard – they’ve gone very hard – even harder than Port Adelaide. I’m not sure how attractive the offer is.
“I can assure you Adelaide has gone very hard for Shaun Burgoyne.”
Hawks make offer to Lachie Schultz
As first reported in The Age in July, Fremantle forward Lachie Schultz is attracting interest from Hawthorn.
AFL.com.au on Thursday reports Schultz has a three-year free agency offer in front of him from the Hawks, while the Dockers are understood to be keen on re-signing him.
Originally from Victoria, Schultz, 23, enjoyed his best season to date in 2021, playing every game and kicking 22 goals.
Tom Lynch undecided on future
Delisted Crows veteran Tom Lynch is still weighing up whether to try to earn a new playing contract at another club or jump into coaching.
“If a really good coaching opportunity popped up and that was the pathway forward for me as opposed to a year somewhere, that would give me something to think about for sure,” Lynch said on SEN .
“A playing career might be the best option as well even if it is one year. We’ve got some decisions to make, me and my family, and we’ll see what plays out.”
Lynch, who will be 31 by the start of next season, averaged 22 disposals and a goal per game over the final six matches of 2021 after a toe injury sidelined him for the middle part of the year.
Wednesday, September 1
Lipinski and Wallis still unsigned
Bulldogs pair Patrick Lipinski and Mitch Wallis look like departing the club this off-season in search of more playing time.
The club’s footy manager Chris Grant discussed their situation on SEN .
“Both those boys, we’re really keen to retain and they’ve been offered contracts and have had those for the majority of the year,” Grant said.
“We totally understand that they want to get a bit of a feel for where they fit in the scheme of things with us.
“It’s always frustrating… when you’re not getting many looks in, but they’ve dealt with it well.”
Tuesday, August 31
Swans star Luke Parker linked to two AFL clubs
Sydney and Luke Parker remain a huge distance apart in contract negotiations as other AFL clubs start to show interest.
The Swans have offered Parker a two-year deal at $500,000, with the midfielder wanting a four-year contract at $700,000 per season.
Gold Coast Suns have shown interest in the 28-year-old, while there has been rumours that St Kilda are keen also.
It’s understood the Suns would be unlikely to be able to afford Parker’s demands, while the Saints would likely have to shed the salaries of players such as Jack Billings and Seb Ross to be able to make a play.
Monday, August 30
St Kilda onballer’s future still undecided
Two-time St Kilda best-and-fairest winner Seb Ross could be playing football elsewhere in 2022 with the midfielder yet to sign a new deal at Moorabbin.
The 28-year-old unrestricted free agent is currently uncontracted for 2022 but has been offered a two-year deal by the Saints with triggers for a third season.
Ross is believed be exploring his options on the market before deciding on whether to recommit to St Kilda.
The midfielder has played 160 games for the Saints since making his debut in 2012, winning the club’s best-and-fairest award in 2017 and 2019.
Sunday, August 29
Bulldogs midfielder could be on the move
Western Bulldogs could lose midfielder Patrick Lipinski, who could be on the move despite a new contract waiting for him at Whitten Oval.
The 23-year-old hasn’t played for the senior team since round 20 and hasn’t been picked as an emergency for Sunday’s elimination final against Essendon.
Carlton and Collingwood have both shown interest in the out-of-contract midfielder, who has only played 11 games this season.
Despite Lipinski being on the fringe of the team, the Bulldogs have tabled a three-year deal for the no.28 pick in the 2016 AFL draft.
In his last VFL match, Lipinski had 36 possessions and kicked three goals.
Friday, August 27
Magpies interested in Demons forward Weideman
Collingwood is looking at out-of-favour Melbourne forward Sam Weideman in a bid to improve their tall forward stocks.
The 24-year-old has lost his place in the Demons team to star recruit Ben Brown and has only managed five games for the minor premiers this season.
Magpies football boss Graham Wright admitted they were considering making a play for Weideman, who’s contract expires at the end of this campaign.
“He’s an out-of-contract player…you’re interested in anyone who’s out of contract that can help your football club,” Wright told Sportsday .
“He’s a talented young forward.
“At the moment, he’s probably behind two or three that are performing well in a team at the top of the ladder.”
Weideman has struggled for consistency at the Demons since being selected with pick nine in the 2015 draft.
He has also reportedly attracted interest from Gold Coast and North Melbourne.
‘No signs’ of Brayden Maynard leaving Collingwood – Wright
Star defender Brayden Maynard will not be leaving Collingwood, according to the club’s football boss Graham Wright.
The 24-year-old was linked with a shock move away from the Lexus Centre after it was reported he would not be signing a new contract until a new coach was appointed at the Magpies.
However, Wright dismissed speculation of Maynard’s possible departure, with the hard-nosed half-back flanker linked with a move back to his native South Australia with Adelaide.
“Brayden and his management have shown no signs of him wanting to go anywhere,” Wright told Sportsday .
“I spoke to his manager a couple of days ago and there’s no sign of that.
“From our perspective, I think he’s really entrenched at the club, he’s a leader of the club, he’s contracted.
“You’ll always hear speculation about certain players along the way, and sometimes where there’s smoke there’s fire, but I don’t think there is in this case.”
Wednesday, August 25
Swans cap squeeze leaving Luke Parker’s future in doubt
Sydney’s salary cap situation is leaving several players without a deal next year as the club attempts to juggle their books.
Luke Parker, Jordan Dawson, George Hewett, Sam Reid and Dylan Stephens are among those unsigned beyond this season.
Parker and Dawson are the priorities, but Sam Edmund reports it’s not a completely straightforward situation.
“He can leave of his choosing. They’re chasing a longer term deal, I’m told at around or above $700,000 a season,” Edmund said on SEN .
“Other clubs have been approached to see if they are willing to part with the money to secure Luke Parker, either as leverage or as a genuine move.”
Luke Dunstan set to leave Saints
Resurgent midfielder Luke Dunstan has reportedly not done enough to win a new contract for next season at St Kilda.
SEN reports the 26-year-old will depart Moorabbin at the end of the season as a delisted free agent.
Dunstan is originally from South Australia and was drafted with pick 18 in 2013 from Woodville-West Torrens.
Freo delist four players
Dockers quarter Brett Bewley, Taylin Duman, Stefan Giro and Tobe Watson have been informed they won’t be offered contracts for next season.
Former 22nd pick Watson is perhaps the most surprising, having featured 11 times at AFL level this season.
“This is always a really difficult time of the year to have to make these decisions,” Bell said.
“They are players of great character, and it will be sad to see them leave the club.”
Tuesday, August 24
Adam Cerra wants out
Emerging Dockers midfielder confirmed the news his club had been fearing – he wishes to be traded to Victoria for family reasons.
The former number five pick has been courting interest from Carlton for much of the season and the Blues are considered as his likely destination.
Carlton currently holds the sixth pick in the draft, though it’s unclear at this stage what Freo’s asking price for the 21-year-old will be.
Swans non-committal on George Hewett
Sydney CEO Tom Harley denied off-contract midfielder George Hewett was out the door, but conceded neither side was making a commitment just yet.
“He hasn’t signed and he hasn’t committed to the Swans and the Swans (haven’t committed) to George to be honest beyond this year,” Harley told SEN .
“As far as anything being done, that would be news to me.
“We’ve got a list that is a good one, particularly with players 25-26 and under, but like all things, and particularly with free agency you have to respect that there’s a process that plays out.
“We’ll continue to negotiate with a number of players out of contract to give ourselves the best chance of having a strong list in 2022.”
Scott Pendlebury clears the air over trade comments
Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury got tongues wagging when he seemed to suggest he’d consider an offer from another club if it helped further his coaching aspirations.
Pendlebury has however since taken to social media to clarify his comments, reaffirming his wish to remain at the Pies.
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Sorry for any confusion. Just to clear it up- I want to be a one club player and finish at my playing career at Collingwood. I’m open to coaching at another club AFTER My playing days. Collingwood Fam- I’m not going anywhere
— Scott Pendlebury (@SP_10) August 24, 2021