IT LOOKS set to be a slow start to this year's free agency period with offers for this year's two biggest names, Patrick Dangerfield and Matthew Leuenberger, unlikely to be tabled on the opening day this Friday.
However, there was still some chance on Thursday night that Geelong would table an offer for fellow restricted free agent Scott Selwood on Friday.
Although clubs have been in talks with 2015 free agents for much of this season, Friday is their first opportunity to lodge official offers.
Dangerfield signalled his intention to join Geelong as a free agent late last month, having been strongly linked to the Cats since last year's trade period.
Adelaide quickly suggested that it would match any offer put forward by the Cats for the restricted free agent, an unprecedented move in the post-2012 free agency era that appears designed to force the Cats into a trade.
Geelong and the Crows have since begun amicable trade discussions but these talks remain ongoing, making it unlikely that the Cats will start the free agency process on Friday.
If Geelong tables an offer for Dangerfield, Adelaide will have 72 hours to inform the AFL that it is matching that deal, which is expected to be worth about $800,000 a season over five or six years.
Brisbane Lions ruckman Leuenberger is being courted by the Sydney Swans and Essendon, and is expected to make a decision on his future over the weekend.
The Bombers appear to be in the box seat to land the restricted free agent given the Swans are also believed to be targeting West Coast ruckman Callum Sinclair.
As recently as Tuesday, West Coast vice-captain Selwood was yet to make a decision on his future, according to his manager, Tom Petroro of Stride Sports.
But it seems almost certain that the 25-year-old midfielder, who has been restricted by ankle problems for the past two seasons, will seek to join elder brother Joel at Geelong.
On Thursday night, the Cats were understood to be waiting on the results of medical tests conducted by Selwood and it was unclear whether they would be in a position to table an offer on Friday.
Will Scott Selwood join older brother Joel at Geelong? Picture: AFL Media
West Coast has already signalled that it could follow the Crows' lead with Dangerfield and match any offer for Selwood.
Meanwhile, Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich is not expected to make a decision on his playing future for some time.
The 33-year-old unrestricted free agent will either play on at Fremantle or retire, with the Dockers set to give him as long as he wants to make his final call.
Delisted Cat Steve Johnson has generated interest from clubs including the Brisbane Lions and remains open to extending his career at a new club in 2016.
However, the three-time premiership player's future is unlikely to be decided until late in the player exchange period when interested clubs have a better idea of the final make-up of their 2016 playing lists.
Hawthorn defender Matt Suckling remains a required player at Waverley, but is believed to be in the sights of several rival clubs, with reports linking him to the Western Bulldogs on Thursday.
Given the Hawks are believed to have little room in their salary cap, rival clubs could try to tempt Suckling into a move with more lucrative offers.
Essendon midfielder Brent Stanton has a one-year offer on the table from the Bombers. But the veteran midfielder is believed to have been pushing for a two-year deal and has been attracting growing rival interest.
Jarrad Grant wants to remain with the Western Bulldogs, but has yet to receive an offer from the club.
The future of 2007's No.5 draft pick is unlikely to be resolved until late in the player exchange period.
The Brisbane Lions have some interest in Hawk Brendan Whitecross, but not as a free agent given they do not want to dilute any compensation they receive for Leuenberger. It is understood Hawthorn is prepared to offer the utility a one-year deal, but won't stand in his way if he seeks more senior opportunities elsewhere.
Patrick McGinnity has opened talks with West Coast and is considered likely to re-sign. However, a new deal will likely be delayed after the 26-year-old underwent surgery on Wednesday.
Geelong ruckman Dawson Simpson looks likely to depart Simonds Stadium after playing 28 games in eight injury-plagued seasons. But with ruckmen in high demand this off-season, the 209cm tall could yet find a new AFL home.
Carlton football manager Andrew McKay said this week that Dennis Armfield's future is unlikely to be decided until late in the free agency/trade period.
North offered Michael Firrito a new one-year deal last week but the defender baulked at the initial salary on offer. We suspect the parties will reach an agreement soon that will see the veteran play on in 2016.
Delisted Geelong veterans James Kelly and Mathew Stokes are also expected to hang up the boots, as is delisted North Melbourne defender Scott McMahon.
Former Brisbane Lions captain Jed Adcock is keen to play on after being delisted, with Gold Coast among the clubs to have expressed an interest in the 29-year-old.
Jed Adcock will be hoping to find a new home during the free agency period. Picture: AFL Media
Fremantle tagger Ryan Crowley was delisted on Thursday and it is unclear if he intends to play on next season.
Fellow unrestricted free agents Mark Jamar (Melbourne) and Brodie Martin (Adelaide) have also been delisted, but are understood to have attracted some interest from rival clubs.
The free agency period runs from Friday, October 9, until Sunday, October 18.
The trade period opens on Monday, October 12, and ends on Thursday, October 22.