Jade Gresham, Jarrod Berry and Nik Cox. Pictures: AFL Photos

Get all the latest news in the trade, free agency and draft landscape every week in Inside Trading, AFL.com.au's dedicated column for player movement. Find out the latest on contracts, deals, trades, draftees, rules, agents and who is going where from the AFL.com.au team. 


THE WESTERN Bulldogs are continuing negotiations on a new deal for ruckman Tim English, as the All-Australian takes time on his free agency decision.

As Inside Trading reported in April, the Dogs made a long-term offer to retain English, who has been keen to get through more of the season before locking in his call.

Discussions are continuing, with the Bulldogs having put forward multiple offers and options as part of talks in a sign the 26-year-old is more likely to stay at the kennel.

English is one of eight remaining restricted free agents in the competition, with 108 free agents across the AFL at the midway point of the season.


As previously revealed on AFL.com.au, Brisbane's Jarrod Berry and Gold Coast's Ben Ainsworth have four-year offers in front of them from their clubs, North Melbourne has put a five-year offer to retain Cam Zurhaar and the Lions have a six-year deal for Hugh McCluggage. Hawthorn's Blake Hardwick also has a long-term offer from the club to stay. 

Sydney has upped its offer of four years to five years to keep Will Hayward amid strong interest from Adelaide, Port Adelaide, Carlton and Melbourne. However, Hayward is not expected to return to South Australia, with remaining at Sydney or a move to Carlton considered the most likely options now. 

Of the 100 unrestricted free agents, Giant Harry Perryman, Eagle Elliot Yeo and St Kilda's Josh Battle are generating most interest. 

Perryman has a five-year offer on the table from GWS but AFL.com.au revealed the strong interest from Port Adelaide and Adelaide in the versatile Giant earlier this year, with Hawthorn and Essendon also among the suitors, while Battle has interest from Melbourne, Hawthorn and Collingwood. 

Harry Perryman celebrates a goal during Greater Western Sydney's clash against Brisbane in round seven, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Yeo is weighing rival interest along with a two-year offer from West Coast. Adelaide has interest, while Essendon and Geelong were among the clubs to keep tabs on Yeo last year while under contract.

Tyson Stengle's talks are also ongoing on a new deal with the Cats as rivals try to pry him to a fourth AFL club. He is one of 11 free agents at Geelong, which is a competition-high ahead of Richmond and St Kilda (eight) and Collingwood and Gold Coast (seven). – Callum Twomey


ESSENDON key forward Harry Jones will trigger a contract extension for 2025 when he returns after missing Dreamtime at the 'G due to suspension. 

The 23-year-old signed a one-year contract last September and needs to play one more game to secure the extension. 

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Jones has put a frustrating couple of years behind him in 2024, playing nine of the first 10 games of the season before being handed a one-game ban for a dangerous tackle against North Melbourne in round 10. 

The Victorian has kicked multiple goals in three games to date this season, recapturing the form he displayed in a breakout campaign in 2021. 

Harrison Jones celebrates a goal during round five, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Jones missed most of last year due to a stress fracture in his back and didn't secure a new deal until late, but is now stacking up decent performances at AFL level. 

Last year's pick No.10 Nate Caddy made his debut against Richmond in the absence of Jones last Saturday night. 

Essendon has also opened discussions on a contract extension for Nik Cox.

The club's No.7 pick at the 2020 draft is due to come out of contract this season but talks are underway to sign on longer.

Nik Cox handballs during Essendon's clash against the Western Bulldogs in round five, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

Cox played 22 games in his debut season of 2021, bursting onto the scene as a wingman, but two injury-hit seasons in 2022-23 restricted him to a total of 11 games across those years.

However, apart from missing the Bombers' round 10 win over North Melbourne with illness, the 22-year-old has played every game for the club this season, although he was substituted out of last week's win over Richmond with hamstring tightness. – Josh Gabelich, Callum Twomey  


CARLTON forward Matt Owies has emerged on the radar of AFL clubs as a potential trade target as teams hunt readymade goalkicking options.

Owies remains without a deal beyond this season, but has established himself as a key member of the Blues' forward line this year and is on track for a career-best campaign after notching 16 goals from his first 11 matches.

Rival clubs have noted the selection squeeze among Carlton's small forwards group, which saw the uncontracted Owies dropped for last year's preliminary final, and have identified the 27-year-old as potentially being gettable at season's end.

Matt Owies celebrates a goal during Carlton's clash against Sydney in round 10, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Orazio Fantasia was brought in as a delisted free agent last season, Corey Durdin and Jesse Motlop have shown promising signs and are both under contract, while David Cuningham, Lachie Fogarty and Jack Martin have dealt with injuries and are also without a deal for next year.

Zac Williams was another to be used as a small forward last weekend, kicking a career best four goals in Carlton's victory over Gold Coast.

Owies, a highly talented former junior basketball who played at collegiate level in the United States, signed for the Blues as a Category B rookie in 2018.

He was elevated to the side's senior list in 2022 and has kicked 72 goals from 60 games for the club. – Riley Beveridge


NORTH Melbourne's pair of AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft selections have already been locked away for 2025, with the No.1 pick Geordie Payne and former Port Adelaide ruckman Brynn Teakle both nominating on longer-term deals.

Payne and Teakle were among nine of the 19 mid-season recruits to have nominated for Wednesday night's draft on 18-month contracts, with West Coast recruit Jack Hutchinson also headed to the Eagles with a deal for next year.

St Kilda midfielder Max Hall, Hawthorn forward Jasper Scaife, Brisbane's Will McLaughlin, Adelaide ruck Toby Murray, Collingwood youngster Iliro Smit and Port Adelaide defender Logan Evans also opted for 18-month contracts.

Payne had long been considered the likely No.1 pick and ultimately headed to the winless Kangaroos on Wednesday evening, while six-game AFL player Teakle was the only second-round pick to have nominated on longer terms.

Richmond defender Jacob Blight, Western Bulldogs forward Kelsey Rypstra, Carlton midfielder Cooper Lord, Melbourne forward Luker Kentfield, Essendon speedster Saad El-Hawli and Sydney youngster Tom Hanily all nominated on six-month deals.

Richmond's Campbell Gray, as well as Brisbane pair Luke Beecken and Darcy Craven, also opted to nominated on terms that would only see their future guaranteed until season's end.

There were a total of 13 players taken in last year's mid-season draft, with only three nominating for longer-term contracts. However, the other 10 all either had those deals extended beyond the season or were traded elsewhere. – Riley Beveridge


THE LENGTH of contracts free agents sign looks likely to be added as a factor into the compensation pick model as the AFL aims for more "transparency" on the selections given to clubs.

The compensation model has taken in a range of factors, including age of the player and salary, however the length of the deal has not been a deciding element.

It means that hypothetically a three-year deal could activate the same band of free agency compensation as a five-year contract provided the financial terms across the deal were the same.

However, the League is looking at including that as a part of the compensation model this year for free agency, said the AFL's head of player movement Ned Guy. 

"There's a good chance of that. It's not so much the secret herbs and spices it's been pitched to be," Guy told AFL.com.au's trade and draft show Gettable.


"A lot of the feedback from clubs was 'Can we get greater transparency on the model?' and there's a bit of an appetite from us to do that.

"We've got to be careful how close we go to revealing to the public players' salaries but I think there's a model where we can provide a little bit more transparency to clubs and to the public to see how the compensation bands work."

In the recent competitive balance review, clubs provided feedback on the free agency system, including some proposing compensation picks be scrapped or that the first 10 picks of the draft are prospected before compensation picks can enter the order. 

Last year, North Melbourne was awarded a first-round draft pick for losing Ben McKay to Essendon on his six-year deal, while end-of-first round picks went to St Kilda and Adelaide for departing free agents Jade Gresham and Tom Doedee. – Callum Twomey

Ben McKay handballs during Essendon's game against St Kilda in R3, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos


AFL RECRUITER Andrew Farrell has added mentoring potential draftees to his business after stepping away from clubland.

Farrell, who worked for Fremantle last season covering South Australia's draft talent pool full-time, decided to leave the Dockers to return to build Accelerate Recruiting, his business working with multiple clubs, player management groups and now draft hopefuls. 

The former Brisbane scout, who was with the club's recruiting and list management team for nine years before 2020, set up the consulting program in 2022 where he worked for four clubs delivering coverage of under-16s and under-17s talent – being across the futures market that no longer has full-time staff dedicated to it among clubs after the cutbacks during COVID.

"Basically it’s the same role as the full-time futures staff member individual clubs had but the information is generically the same," Farrell said.

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He supplies the information covering the different competitions while also doing 'special projects' work for his club clients, which has included assessing a select amount of 2024 draft eligible players and offering an external opinion. Clubs that initially invested in Accelerate have recommitted after he returned following the 2023 season with Fremantle. 

Farrell is also working with individual draft prospects to give them more detailed views from a recruiter's angle. 

"Historically young players coming through the pathway have certain resources such as coaches, managers, strength and conditioning teams, personal trainers and the like, but not a view of how their game is being broken down and what traits may or may not translate to AFL level and what they need to improve to be noticed," he said. – Callum Twomey