THE AFL's first list lodgement has been submitted for the off-season and the opening day of the delisted free agency window has seen two players find new homes.

There's now a clearer picture of how many spots are up for grabs at each club going into 2021. 

Under new list constraints announced last week, each club must have a minimum of 37 players and no more than 44 for next year. 

Clubs must carry at least 36 senior listed players and if they're intending on hitting only 37 overall, then they can have as few as one rookie. 

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To reach the maximum of 44, that must include 36-38 senior listed players, four to six standard rookies and two Category B rookies. 

Those taken in the NAB AFL Draft are senior listed players. 

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Clubs have also been granted extra flexibility in building their 2021 lists and can move two players from the 2020 senior to the rookie list for next season. As has been the case in recent years, the first $80,000 of each rookie's contract can sit outside the cap so by freeing up this process, it allows clubs to better manage their finances. 

Under the revised Collective Bargaining Agreement, Category B rookies will be allowed to play without the need to be upgraded in 2021.

Mitch Cleary looks at how many players are contracted at each club ahead of the delisted free agency window opening on Thursday and the NAB AFL Draft on December 9. 

Current contracted for 2021: 35

Former Brisbane defender Mitch Hinge's arrival on a two-year deal on Thursday takes the Crows to 36 list spots for next season. And Jackson Hately's arrival via the Pre-Season Draft will make it 37. David Mackay and Ben Davis will be dropped from the senior list to the rookie list to provide flexibility, while Bryce Gibbs will also be carried as a rookie for administrative purposes after he received a payout for 2021. Once listed, Gibbs will be able to be moved to the inactive list, meaning the Crows can add a player via the Pre-Season Supplemental Selection Period (SSP). 

Adelaide veteran David Mackay will play on in 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Current contracted for 2021: 40 

The Lions are jam-packed for list spots which includes two Category B rookies, Deividas Uosis and James Madden, for next season, meaning they'll be able to use only four picks across both drafts. Connor Ballenden, Grant Birchall and Rhys Mathieson are being moved from the senior list to the rookie list to free up extra senior list positions. 

Brisbane big man Connor Ballenden. Picture: AFL Photos

Current contracted for 2021: 39

Eddie Betts will be moved to the rookie list along with Matt Kennedy to free up senior list spots. The Blues are currently committed to one Category B rookie in their total of 39 – former basketballer Matt Owies. Former rookie Michael Gibbons has been promoted to the senior list.

Carlton's Matthew Kennedy is set to be retained as a rookie in 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Current contracted for 2021: 35

Expect the Pies to be super busy at next month's drafts with nine list spots still up for grabs. While they're yet to announce it, Levi Greenwood and Anton Tohill are expected to be at the Pies for next season and are included in the 35 along with Jordan De Goey who has committed to a two-year deal. It is expected Tohill and former basketballer Tom Wilson will be the two Category B rookies for the Pies in 2021. Jack Madgen and Brody Mihocek, who has re-signed for three years, have been promoted to the senior list. 

Levi Greenwood celebrates a rare goal against the Power. Picture: AFL Photos

Current contracted for 2021: 38

While the Bombers are yet to announce it, James Stewart has committed to a two-year extension, while Irving Mosquito is also in line to be re-contracted. Marty Gleeson and Dylan Clarke will be re-listed as rookie players. The Bombers had two Category B rookies in 2020 - Tom Hird and Ross McQuillan - who will both be retained for 2021. Irishman Cian McBride is a standard Category A rookie.. 

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Current contracted for 2021: 38

The Dockers have delisted Brett Bewley, Lachie Schultz and Bailey Banfield but will slot Bewley and Schultz straight onto the rookie list when the second delisted free agency window opens on December 1 under the new guidelines announced on Tuesday. Banfield will be put through the rookie-draft. The Dockers will also commit to Leno Thomas as a Category B rookie again.

Bailey Banfield after Fremantle's win over West Coast in the 2020 Marsh Community Series. Picture: AFL Photo

Current contracted for 2021: 41

The Cats have three list spots to play with at the NAB AFL Draft and Rookie Draft given they've committed to two Category B rookies – Stefan Okunbor and Paul Tsapatolis – in their current quota of 41. The retirement of Jack Steven is factored in also. Don't expect the Cats to be too busy in the next month. 

202cm Australian basketball prodigy Paul Tsapatolis. Picture: Instagram

Current contracted for 2021: 43 

The Suns will be allowed to have a maximum of 49 on their list next season – but the senior list will still be capped at 38 like other clubs. They confirmed on Wednesday that Jarrod Harbrow, Jack Homsbch, Zac Smith and Jordan Murdoch will move from the primary list to the rookie list. Connor Budarick and Nick Holman have been lifted off the rookie list onto the senior list. Papua New Guinean Hawego Paul Oea has signed as a Category B rookie, while Irishman Luke Towey will continue on the same list. The Suns aren't expected to be busy at the NAB AFL Draft, but will get young guns Alex Davies and Joel Jeffrey outside the draft as part of their Next Generation Academy.

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Current contracted for 2021: 37

The Giants confirmed on Wednesday that rookie Shane Mumford and Category B rookie Callum Brown had re-signed for next season. Daniel Lloyd will also be retained but will drop to the rookie list. Veteran Sam Reid has been delisted but given the promise of being re-rookied and is included in the total of 37. Jack Buckley has been promoted from the rookie to senior list. Jackson Hately hasn't been included now that he is delisted and bound for Adelaide via the Pre-Season Draft.

GWS' Daniel Lloyd in action against St Kilda in round 18. Picture: AFL Photos

Current contracted for 2021: 38

After adding Tom Phillips and Kyle Hartigan in the Trade Period, the Hawks now have 38 contracted players for next season. That number includes forward Dylan Moore who has been delisted but given the promise of being re-rookied by the Hawks ahead of the Rookie Draft. Former Category B rookie Changkuoth Jiath has been upgraded to the primary list, while Harry Pepper remains a Category B rookie.

Hawk Changkuoth Jiath is congratulated after victory over GWS. Picture: AFL Photos

Current contracted for 2021: 38

The Demons have moved up in this year's NAB AFL Draft with two first-round picks, so they're targeting a big haul come next month. Jay Lockhart has been promoted to the senior list, Kade Chandler has been re-signed as a rookie, while Aaron Nietschke will be delisted with the promise of being re-rookied. Austin Bradtke remains as a Category B rookie.

Melbourne's Kade Chandler at training in June 2020. Picture: AFL Photos

Current contracted for 2021: 35

The Roos delisted Ed Vickers-Willis on Wednesday but informed Will Walker that he will be retained as a rookie after being demoted off the senior list. Tasmanian Matt McGuinness is being kept as the club's sole Category B rookie to this point. With a strong hand at next month's NAB AFL Draft, expect the Roos to target youth and potentially a delisted free agent from another club to fill their remaining spots.

Will Walker during the round 12 clash between North Melbourne and Brisbane at Metricon Stadium on August 15, 2020. Picture: AFL Photos

Current contracted for 2021: 38

The Power have their sights set on Next Generation Academy star Lachie Jones and father-son hopeful Taj Schofield at next month's draft so don't expect them to be overly busy. Martin Frederick is staying as a Category B rookie.

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Current contracted for 2021: 39

The Tigers will carry one Category B player at this stage after committing to ruckman Mate Colina. Derek Eggmolesse-Smith was delisted off the same list on Wednesday. While Bachar Houli's new deal is yet to be publicised, he's locked and loaded for 2021 at Punt Road. The Tigers have committed to retaining Ben Miller as a rookie after three seasons on the senior list. Liam Baker has been promoted off the rookie list leaving the Tigers with five current rookies – Miller, Sydney Stack, Marlion Pickett, Jake Aarts and Mabior Chol. Alex Rance is officially retired and has been removed from the list.

Bachar Houli gets the ball away cleanly. Picture: AFL Photos

Current contracted for 2021: 38

James Frawley's stunning backflip to join the Saints as a delisted free agent takes the Saints to 38 contracted players for 2021. The Saints announced on Wednesday that defender Oscar Clavarino will remain with the club, dropping from the senior list to the rookie list along with Darragh Joyce who held a deal for 2021. Ruck prospect Sam Alabakis will be retained as the club's only Category B rookie for now.

Defender Oscar Clavarino at St Kilda training in October. Picture: AFL Photos

Current contracted for 2021: 38

The Swans have committed to new deals for Ben Ronke and Hayden McLean that they're yet to announce, which leaves them at 37 contracted players for next season. Small forward Sam Gray has been delisted but will be re-rookied, taking the Swans to 38 players for 2021. Defender Robbie Fox hasn't been included in that total but the Swans are now showing intentions of placing him back on the rookie list after his surprise delisting on Wednesday. Joel Amartey has been upgraded from the rookie to senior list. Barry O'Connor and Sam Wicks will continue as Category B rookies. They could also pick up former Saint Paddy McCartin as a rookie next month.

Hayden McLean gives his all against Nic Naitanui. Picture: AFL Photos

Current contracted for 2021: 38

The Eagles have committed to new deals for Brendon Ah Chee (rookie) and Mark Hutchings (demoted to rookie), while Nathan Vardy has been retained after the Eagles lost ruck depth with Tom Hickey's departure. Jamaine Jones has committed to a new rookie deal, while Brayden Ainsworth has a contract. The Eagles are working through where Daniel Venables will sit next season after missing all of 2020 with concussion. Defender Harry Edwards has been upgraded from the rookie list after re-signing until 2022.  

West Coast ruckman Nathan Vardy. Picture: AFL Photos

Current contracted for 2021: 38

The total of 38 includes Roarke Smith who has been delisted but will return as a rookie for next season. Buku Khamis is expected to return as a Category B rookie, while the Dogs are all chips in on bringing in Next Generation Academy prospect Jamarra Ugle-Hagan at the pointy end of the NAB AFL Draft.

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