CARETAKER coach David Teague is on as much of a job pitch over the next 11 weeks as Carlton is to the AFL players thinking about a new home in 2020.
With aspirations to become a senior coach, Teague's task to reinstate morale back at Ikon Park comes with one clear directive.
A second half of the season that resembles anything like the Blues' 1-11 start will simply turn future trade targets away.
Watching from the back of the room as Brendon Bolton's contract was terminated on Monday, Teague was left under no illusions by chief executive Cain Liddle's message.
Brendon Bolton tears up as president Mark LoGiudice watches on. Picture: Getty Images
Liddle laid bare the challenge facing the Blues in retaining top-end talent and enticing star power.
"I'd love to say no (impact), but if you were to go through another year like last year (two wins), that would be tough," Liddle said.
"A lot of our young talent that we've brought in that we've identified is locked away long-term which is a credit to them they've been able to commit to the club in difficult circumstances.
"I'm also a realist that players play footy, they want to win premierships. We need to put this club in a position that can do that."
Patrick Cripps leads the team off the field after another loss. Picture: AFL Photos
Players pondering moves are constantly assessing opposition club lists.
Former Gold Coast co-captain Tom Lynch watched on as Richmond won a flag in 2017, going a long way to crystalising a decision he would make to become a Tiger 12 months later.
Dion Prestia identified Richmond's room for growth in 2016, Jaeger O'Meara liked what he saw at Hawthorn, while Dylan Shiel pored over Essendon's potential before signing at Tullamarine and snubbing the Blues, among others.
It came as a harsh reality to Liddle that wins matter, something that is yet to be addressed this year.
Stephen Coniglio remains on the market, however, he looks more likely to stay at Greater Western Sydney and knock back offers from all over the country.
Gun midfielder Stephen Coniglio is on several clubs' radar. Picture: AFL Photos
Others out of contract that would appeal to the Blues include Fremantle's Ed Langdon, Adelaide's Hugh Greenwood and Sun Jack Martin.
Next year Giants Lachie Whitfield and Jeremy Cameron and Crow Brad Crouch are destined to become free agents.
However, nothing they've seen on-field so far in 2019 would be enough to entice a Carlton move based on performance.
Outside of Dale Thomas and Jarrod Pickett, who remain in battles to earn new contracts, the other 11 Carlton's current top-10 picks will be at the new coach's disposal next season.
It's a list that has underachieved and one the Blues clearly expected more from, as proven with the decision to swap future first-round picks with Adelaide to land Liam Stocker at pick 19.
WHO'S WINNING? Blues v Crows, Stocker v the No.1 pick
It was a ploy that sold instant hope to a hungry fan-base. Liddle has proudly spruiked the ability to land a record number of members before a ball was bounced this year.
With seven of the remaining 11 top-10 picks 22 or younger, all is not lost.
Like Prestia and O'Meara discovered with Richmond and Hawthorn lists in recent seasons, the Carlton potential is there to see.
But much like the fans, it's time for Teague and the rest of the current group to buy-in and prove there's more to this club than just impressive names on a team sheet.
How many top-10 picks does your club have on its list*
Adelaide - 3
Brisbane - 4
Carlton - 13
Collingwood - 9
Essendon - 8
Fremantle - 7
Geelong - 5
Gold Coast - 11
GWS Giants – 11
Hawthorn - 6
Melbourne - 8
North Melbourne - 8
Port Adelaide - 8
Richmond - 5
St Kilda - 8
Sydney - 4
West Coast Eagles - 5
Western Bulldogs – 6
*Figures include GWS mini-draft players (Brad Crouch, Jack Martin) but not Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney pre-draft concession players selected in 2010-2011.