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.
IT HAS already been a busy start to the player movement period.
A 10-year-high number of restricted and unrestricted free agents changed clubs in the free agency period – headlined by Ben McKay, Jade Gresham and Tom Doedee – and already 15 players have changed clubs as free agents or trades.
But there remains at least another 20 players still in trade discussions before Wednesday night's Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period deadline.
Here is the latest on all of the deals that are in play ahead of the final few days of clubs' wheeling and dealing.
Still contracted at St Kilda through until 2025, Billings has been starved of opportunity due to form and fitness issues. He has been open to a move, with the Saints likely to pay a portion of his deal if he finds a chance elsewhere. Collingwood held mild interest in Billings throughout the year, but remains locked in talks to secure Lachie Schultz from Fremantle as the club's main priority. He'll be hoping something progresses later in the window.
Chol has indicated he wants to take up Hawthorn's offer of a four-year contract, with a trigger for a fifth season. But, still contracted at Gold Coast until 2025, there remains a bit to play out. The Suns have asked for a future second-round pick, while the Hawks are more prepared to deal in third-round selections. The Hawks have since shown a willingness to get the Tigers involved in talks around a potential three-club trade, which could also progress Jacob Koschitzke's move to Richmond.
Progress was made late in the week on a deal sending Coffield from St Kilda to the Western Bulldogs but it wasn't closed. The Saints have been looking for the Bulldogs' pick No.40 to be involved in the deal, with Coffield heading to the Bulldogs and other picks being involved. There is also a chance of more clubs being in the pick-swapping part of a deal.
The young Bomber's hopes of getting to Hawthorn could be something that unfolds later in the trade period. The Bombers are caught up in deals for Brandon Zerk-Thatcher and Xavier Duursma, while the Hawks are trying to negotiate trades for Mabior Chol and Jacob Koschitzke. Expect this trade to go through with a later draft pick.
The out-of-favour Dow has requested a trade to St Kilda, where he will take up a three-year offer. Carlton wants a return on the former No.3 pick, with discussions starting late last week around a potential four-club trade also involving Essendon and the Western Bulldogs. It would see Dow get to the Saints, Nick Coffield head to the Dogs, while the Blues and the Bombers would secure a swap of draft picks.
Has a four-year offer in front of him at Essendon, which is keen to add his running power to its midfield mix. With a year to go on his deal at Port Adelaide, the Power could hold him but he has requested a move to the Bombers and Duursma's move should help the Power bring in Brandon Zerk-Thatcher as a tall back. Essendon would look for a straight swap but other picks may switch hands.
This one has time on its side, given it's likely to only involve a rookie contract. Fantasia met with Greater Western Sydney officials last week, including coach Adam Kingsley and football boss Jason McCartney, keen for an opportunity at a third club following 80 games at Essendon and 19 more recently at Port Adelaide. The Giants want experience in their rookie stocks and someone who can deliver some forward-half craft, so Fantasia fits the bill but could also remain at Port Adelaide.
A trade request that would see Gunston return to Hawthorn, following just one season at Brisbane, surprised both Hawks and Lions officials. The Hawks are caught up in trying to secure deals for Mabior Chol and Massimo D'Ambrosio, while sending Jacob Koschitzke to the Tigers. They will prioritise those moves, then assess both their draft hand and their list positions, before considering whether they can get Gunston over the line as well. As Gettable reported on Friday, former mid-season rookie Brandon Ryan looms as a possible target for the Lions in a Gunston trade.
Hayes has been starved of opportunity at Port Adelaide, playing just 11 games in six seasons on the club's list, and is coming towards the end of his deal this year. He had some interest from various clubs throughout the season, but nothing has materialised just yet. He could appeal to clubs as a potential delisted free agent, or rookie option, having not yet been offered a new contract by the Power. He could also remain at Alberton, pending the club's success in upcoming deals for ruck duo Jordon Sweet and Ivan Soldo.
Progress has been made on a deal for Henry, who has nominated St Kilda as his preferred destination. The Saints have not wanted to part with their early picks No.13 and 21, with the Dockers having been targeting an early-second round pick. The Saints could look to their future hand of selections, with a deal in the works.
There is a bit to play out for the contracted Hollands to land at Carlton. He is unlikely to formally request a trade, but is open to a move. The Blues held discussions with Gold Coast on Friday, with the Suns looking to upgrade picks both this year and next as part of any of their upcoming deals. Talks are set to continue over the weekend, with Hollands just as comfortable seeing out a contract at the Suns that runs through until 2024. This is a genuine 50/50 to eventuate.
There is a standoff in talks, given Adelaide had been hopeful of landing either Mabior Chol or Harrison Petty before letting the contracted Himmelberg leave. Expect discussions to resume before Wednesday, but Greater Western Sydney will need to produce an offer the Crows can't say no to. If there is no resolution, the Giants are likely to persist with veteran Lachie Keeffe for another season to bolster their key-position stocks.
The Tigers quickly shut down the Hawks' hopes of landing a pick inside the top 25 for the key forward, who has requested a trade to Richmond. He's out of contract and keen to get to Punt Road. The Tigers hold picks 29, 50 and 68, with the Hawks having a number of deals in motion for the final days of the trade period.
Port Adelaide has made no secret of its desire to land both Ivan Soldo and Jordon Sweet during this year's trade period, leaving Lycett's position at the club uncertain. Geelong, North Melbourne and Collingwood had surveyed their ruck options earlier in the trade period, with Lycett yet to be offered a new deal by Port Adelaide.
The Adelaide forward's trade request to Melbourne has seen the Crows target Harrison Petty for a return to South Australia, with the Crows keen to package McAdam and a first-round pick to attain the Demons tall. But the Demons aren't budging on Petty remaining at Melbourne and have put forward a future second-round pick (tied to the Demons) as their offer to Adelaide for the 50-game goalkicker.
The Richmond youngster looks likely to join North Melbourne, but the Roos didn't want to sign him as a free agent so not to risk any diluting of the compensation pick (No.3 overall) they received for Ben McKay's exit to Essendon. They can either trade in the versatile tall or wait and grab him in the pre-season draft but he looks headed to Arden Street.
Melbourne is adamant the contracted Petty is going nowhere, despite having a pull to return to South Australia. A contract that runs through until 2025 will make it difficult for Adelaide to wrench him out, but the Crows have a willingness to continue chasing him and have looked to bundle their early picks with the wantaway Shane McAdam to secure a deal. Expect the Demons to retain him.
Geelong rebuffed Port Adelaide's offer of pick 25 for the out-of-contract key defender, who wants to get to the Power for the second straight season. The Cats had been linked to young Power forward Ollie Lord however he is signed at Port Adelaide and won't be involved in the deal. This one looks likely to come down to the wire and if a deal isn't done, Ratugolea could head to the Power in the national draft.
Collingwood had put its first pick this year – No.19 – on the trade table for Schultz but the Dockers have been eyeing the Magpies' future first-rounder. The Magpies would also likely add a pick sweetener to get the deal over the line, with the expectation something is sorted before Wednesday's deadline. The contracted Schultz has a five-year offer on the table from Collingwood – four years and a trigger for a fifth.
Port Adelaide remains interested in bringing Richmond premiership ruckman Soldo to the club as well as Western Bulldogs big man Jordon Sweet, and Soldo also remains interested in going. But so far Richmond has blocked any move on Soldo departing with a year to run on his contract at Punt Road. Would a future second-round pick tempt the Tigers?
Port Adelaide has lured the Western Bulldogs ruckman back home to Adelaide, with Sweet keen to join the Power after being Tim English's understudy. Is among the four targets Port is still hoping to land in coming days, with the Power having two picks – No.41 and 49 – that could be sent in return. Likely to be some discussions over which one ends up getting the deal done.
Essendon's hopes of landing Xavier Duursma from Port Adelaide has meant the Zerk-Thatcher move to Alberton is likely to be tied up in the deal. While Essendon would be keen for a straight swap of players, Port Adelaide is likely to look for a swap of later draft picks, given Duursma is under contract for another season with the Power and the Bombers key back is not.
North offered a package of four first-round picks for the Eagles' No.1 selection but West Coast quickly said no to the offer. But expect the Roos to keep on coming given their hand of five top-20 picks. Pick No.2 or 3 would have to be involved for the Roos to prise the No.1 pick and Harley Reid from the Eagles' grasp. The Eagles are likely to hold until close to the draft, given picks can be swapped until November 10 and then again on draft night, with Melbourne also expected to have a tilt at the top choice given their hand of picks No.6, 11 and a future first-rounder.