AFL.com.au presents Inside Trading, with breaking news and the best analysis of the AFL trade landscape covering contracts, re-signings, free agents, the AFL Draft and industry insights.
GRESHAM MOVE PROGRESSES
PROGRESS has been made as Essendon looks to lodge paperwork for restricted free agent Jade Gresham ahead of Friday's deadline.
The free agency window closes at 5pm AEDT on Friday, meaning clubs must lodge their paperwork by then, with clubs with free agents then having a three-day period to match an offer or accept the compensation.
St Kilda has been ready to retain Gresham and match a deal should Essendon's offer not provide the Saints with a sufficient free agency compensation pick, with the Bombers not prepared to trade for the small forward/midfielder.
The Bombers continue to work through their deal for the 26-year-old, with progress understood to have been made on Thursday as the free agency period ending closes in.
The delay on Gresham hasn't stopped the Saints' other trades – bringing in Liam Henry from Fremantle and Nick Coffield requesting a move to the Western Bulldogs – continuing to be discussed.
The Saints have looked for a second-round selection to be involved in a Coffield swap that would likely also include other picks changing hands. – Callum Twomey
FREO UPS ANTE FOR HAWK
FREMANTLE has upped its bid to land Hawthorn forward Tyler Brockman, but the small goalkicker remains steadfast on going to West Coast.
The Dockers have increased their offer to Brockman to a four-year deal, however Brockman is intent on heading to the Eagles, where he has a strong link to premiership forward Liam Ryan.
Brockman is out of contract and can walk to the Eagles via the pre-season draft if a deal is not executed between the Hawks and West Coast.
Fremantle has increased its interest since the Dockers learned of Lachie Schultz's trade request to Collingwood on Monday, with talks ongoing between the Magpies and the Dockers for a deal on the 25-year-old.
The Magpies have put forward an offer for the gun small forward using their pick No.19, with the Dockers expected to look for an additional pick coming back their way. – Callum Twomey
BLUES AND SUNS TO KICKSTART HOLLANDS TALKS
CARLTON and Gold Coast will meet this weekend to discuss whether the Blues can satisfy the Suns in a trade for contracted youngster Elijah Hollands.
Hollands is open to a move to Ikon Park, where he would unite with his younger brother Ollie, but won't formally request a trade and is comfortable seeing out his contract with the Suns in 2024 if talks don't progress.
Carlton has been keen to assess its draft hand before entering into negotiations for the former top-10 pick and must still secure a deal taking Paddy Dow to St Kilda, having traded Zac Fisher to North Melbourne on Wednesday.
That trade left the Blues with picks No.21 and 25, while they can also part with future selections to ultimately land Hollands, but must first decipher what Gold Coast wants in any talks.
Speaking to AFL.com.au's Gettable on Continental Tyres AFL Trade Radio on Thursday, Hollands' manager Dave Trotter from Hemisphere Management Group said the 21-year-old was comfortable regardless of the outcome.
"He'll be at one of the two clubs next year," Trotter said.
"It's not like he's looking around and trying to shop around and see what's out there. That's where there's been a bit of a delay. Both of those clubs have got a bit of stuff going on, they've still got a couple of players moving out. They've also got to sort some picks out, and we know Gold Coast is loading up with the points.
"That's more a conversation for the weekend. We have spoken to Carlton, spoken to Gold Coast, they've agreed to have a chat. That will probably be after tomorrow. They'll sit down over the weekend and see where it sits.
"Elijah hasn't come out and said, 'Hey, 100 per cent, that's where I'm going.' It'll be a mutual decision of whether there's something there that Gold Coast would look at and whether Elijah wants to take the opportunity.
"I think it's a reasonable chance, but I'll have more information over the next couple of days." – Riley Beveridge
TIGER TO STAY
HUGO Ralphsmith is set to remain at Punt Road in 2024.
The 21-year-old has been forced to wait while the Tigers work through their contracts post-season, but the club is finalising a one-year extension.
Ralphsmith played nine games straight in the first half of the season but only added four more appearances after round 12, starting all four games as the sub.
The Haileybury College product has played 32 games since being selected at pick No. 46 in the 2019 AFL Draft.
Richmond has secured Rhyan Mansell and Thomson Dow since the end of the season.
Uncontracted key defender Bigoa Nyuon is yet to secure a new deal but has met with North Melbourne and as reported by AFL.com.au last week could move as a free agent. – Josh Gabelich
DRAFT MECHANISMS UNDER REVIEW
THE AFL has told clubs it will be reviewing the bidding system, Next Generation Academy incentives and draft value index as it embarks on the off-season.
Clubs were told in a memo from the League's football boss Laura Kane this week that they would be working with clubs to find further improvements in a range of areas, including the operations of the bidding system for father-sons and Northern Academy players.
DRAFT HUB Click here for the latest draft news
It also said it would be reviewing the restrictions on matching bids for NGA prospects – currently clubs can only match bids outside the top 40 selections – and the discounts that are applied to matching bids as well.
The structure of the draft value index is also expected to be looked at, with the draft points system first introduced in 2015 and having remained the same value per pick throughout that time.
Some clubs feel there is an opportunity to take stock of the draft, bidding, Academy and NGA system in one hit with a lower number of draftees getting selected in recent years and expected again this season. – Callum Twomey
DONS YOUNGSTER WAITING ON MOVE
HAWTHORN is likely to wait until the end of the Trade Period before attempting to wrap up a deal for Essendon rookie Massimo D'Ambrosio.
The former mid-season pick-up has indicated he wants to take up a two-year offer from the Hawks, but is stuck behind a logjam of deals.
Hawthorn still needs to negotiate a trade with Gold Coast to secure contracted forward Mabior Chol, while Jacob Koschitzke has requested a move to Richmond and Tyler Brockman is headed to West Coast.
The Hawks are also in the market for additional later picks to amass draft points to cover bids on father-son prospects Will McCabe and Calsher Dear.
It leaves D'Ambrosio waiting for his future to be sorted, with his agent Julian Petracca from Hemisphere Management Group telling AFL.com.au's Gettable on Continental Tyres AFL Trade Radio that he expects any agreement to come late.
"Things are progressing well with Essendon and Hawthorn," Petracca said.
"I don't think anything will happen over the next couple of days, it's probably more of a Tuesday or Wednesday job.
"I'll leave it up to Mark McKenzie and Adrian Dodoro to sort out, but I'm pretty confident it will get done." – Riley Beveridge
FRONT-ENDED DEAL BOOM
CLUBS are expected to front-end deals next year to make their minimum cap spend after being reminded this week they will need to hit the 95 per cent level for next year's payments after the rise of salaries.
The players' new Collective Bargaining Agreement will see a backpay for players for the 2023 season and a rise again in 2024 through to the end of the deal in 2027.
TRADE HUB All the latest player movement news
It will see a number of bottom clubs with salary cap space be ready to bring forward some of their heavier contracts to front-end the payments so they can hit the 95 per cent minimum spend of the cap under AFL rules.
Clubs were reminded of the TPP compliance with the new CBA at a pre-Trade Period meeting on Monday at Marvel Stadium.
The rise in player spending money will also see clubs be even more dangerous on the trading front next year given the majority of this year's players up for grabs are middle-to-lower paid options. – Callum Twomey
PERIOD GIVES CHANCE FOR FRESH STARTS
IT IS the Trade Period of opportunity, with the overwhelming majority of players set to switch clubs during this year's window having been dropped to state leagues throughout the campaign.
So far, nine of the 12 players to have moved clubs via trade or free agency had been demoted to reserves level at some stage throughout the season.
Chris Burgess, Todd Goldstein, Dylan Stephens, Zac Fisher, James Jordon, Brodie Grundy, Matt Flynn and James Harmes all played in the VFL at some stage this year, while Joel Hamling featured in the WAFL.
It's a trend that's set to continue as the Trade Period rolls on through to next Wednesday night's deadline.
Elijah Hollands, Mabior Chol, Massimo D'Ambrosio, Tom Fullarton, Bigoa Nyuon, Esava Ratugolea, Ivan Soldo, Jordon Sweet, Jacob Koschitzke, Paddy Dow, Tyler Brockman, Nick Coffield and Jack Billings are all a chance to find new homes having played in the VFL this year.
Xavier Duursma, Elliott Himmelberg, Orazio Fantasia and Shane McAdam were all dropped to SANFL level and could play elsewhere near year, while Liam Henry is also set to move after starting the season in the WAFL.
Tom Doedee, Ben McKay and Taylor Adams are the only players who have so far moved clubs having not been dropped this year, while Lachie Schultz, Jade Gresham and Brandon Zerk-Thatcher may still change clubs after spending the entire season in their senior teams. – Riley Beveridge