THE RECRUITMENT of superstar Lance Franklin on a monster contract has had a significant impact on Sydney's playing depth, says former coach Paul Roos.
With the Swans sitting on the bottom of the ladder and winless after six rounds, Sydney's 2005 premiership coach believes Franklin's nine year, $10 million deal has restricted the club's recruiting.
Roos pointed to the more balanced lists of Melbourne (the club he coached last year) and Greater Western Sydney for their even spread of talent.
"If you go after a player like Buddy, your list becomes skinny," Roos told News Corp.
"The implications are, if you go for a big star, your back end of players is going to be skinny with a lot of rookies.
"If you look at GWS and Melbourne, they have more depth. Melbourne has Lewis and Hogan out but still has talent in reserves like Kent and Brayshaw.
"They haven't got a marquee that gobbles up a lot of the salary cap.
"Whoever goes after Fyfe, if he does leave Freo, will have the same problem."
The Swans' ability to recruit experienced players has also been affected by the loss of the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA). COLA added 9.8 per cent to Sydney's salary cap but the AFL removed it in the wake of the Franklin deal.
Despite the Swans' dramatic fall from grace this season, Roos believes all is not lost for the 2016 grand finalists, with several of their key cogs still to find top form after limited pre-seasons.
Franklin and fellow stars Luke Parker, Kieren Jack and Isaac Heeney were among many Swans who had incomplete preparations.
"The Grand Final teams Sydney and the Bulldogs have a massive disadvantage in preparing for this year. The Bulldogs have found a way to win some of the opening games and the Swans haven't," he said.
"I'm confident with the Swans. They have to win 13-16 to make the eight, but they're a team, which could win six in a row, they've done it before.
"They will have to get down and dirty."