ROUND 23 not only marks the end of the AFL season for 10 clubs, but it's also the last chance for many footballers to press their claims for a new contract.
Some of those players will have to agonise about their predicament until the end of the NAB AFL Trade Period in October, whereas others will discover their fate – either way – much sooner.
Without further ado, here are your team's out-of-contract members.
Out of contract: Cam Ellis-Yolmen, Hugh Greenwood, Paul Hunter, Sam Jacobs, Alex Keath, Jake Kelly, Riley Knight, David Mackay, Kieran Strachan, Patrick Wilson
Keath, Greenwood and Jacobs are the fascinating ones here. All three have interest elsewhere, but have indicated – at different stages – a desire to remain at the Crows, who look likely to be busy in the next couple of months. Kelly is set to stay and a deal should be completed soon, with Wilson also close to finalising a fresh contract. Strachan will go around again as a rookie. Senior regulars Knight and Mackay are other interesting names without a deal in place, while Hunter could be up against it after three seasons without a senior game. Richard Douglas will explore other options.
Out of contract: Ryan Bastinac, Allen Christensen, Tom Cutler, Matt Eagles, Mitch Hinge, Luke Hodge, Ben Keays, Ryan Lester, Corey Lyons, Nick Robertson, Sam Skinner, Lewis Taylor, Josh Walker
Hodge is tipped to retire at season's end – maybe after a fifth premiership – but nothing is confirmed yet. Christensen is in negotiations on a new contract and will be at the Lions in 2020, while Lester is also expected to continue. Robertson's played only four senior matches this year and has interest from multiple clubs if he elects to seek greater opportunity. The Lions have applied to the AFL to retain Eagles as a Category B rookie for a fourth season next year. Walker has been in and out of the senior side a bit, while Cutler and Taylor fell out of favour this season and may explore their options.
Out of contract: Matthew Cottrell, Josh Deluca, Jarrod Garlett, Mick Gibbons, Hugh Goddard, Patrick Kerr, Kym LeBois, Matthew Lobbe, Andrew Phillips, Angus Schumacher, Kade Simpson
Simpson is set to continue into an 18th season, as AFL.com.au reported last week, while Levi Casboult satisfied a trigger in his contract that will earn him a deal for 2020. Gibbons hasn't missed a game since being picked up in the pre-season supplemental selection period and will be retained, and mid-season draftee Deluca is expected to receive another year. However, first-year Blue Alex Fasolo has retired. Phillips has a one-year offer in front of him, while Kerr and Schumacher are hopeful of staying on after showing promise in the VFL.
Out of contract: Tim Broomhead, Ben Crocker, Lynden Dunn, Jamie Elliott, Tyson Goldsack, Levi Greenwood, Max Lynch, Jack Madgen, Sam Murray, John Noble, Ben Reid, Brayden Sier, Travis Varcoe, Daniel Wells, Rupert Wills
An announcement is imminent about a new two-year deal for Sier, while Elliott's five-goal haul last week was his best since 2015 and he won't have an issue earning a fresh contract. Greenwood remains a senior regular, and Reid will need to prove his fitness but his form was good before his latest injury. Noble's also shown promise since being a mid-season draftee and is set to continue next year. It gets a bit murkier from there for the other out-of-contract Pies, with Dunn coming off a knee reconstruction and Murray awaiting the result of his ASADA hearing. Wells' manager, Liam Pickering, is on record as saying he doubts his client will play beyond this season.
Out of contract: Mark Baguley, Mitch Brown, Zac Clarke, Matt Dea, Aaron Francis, Matt Guelfi, Michael Hartley, Jordan Houlahan, Tom Jok, Jake Long, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Ben McNiece, Trent Mynott, Mason Redman, Will Snelling
Guelfi is close to re-committing for two more years, although he won't play again this season because of a knee injury. Obtaining McDonald-Tipungwuti's signature is the top priority as other clubs circle, while Redman is another player the Bombers are keen to lock away. Francis is perennially linked with a return home to South Australia. Brown continues to be an underrated performer in attack and should be at Tullamarine in 2020, as is likely the case for mid-season draftee Snelling, who's broken in for three AFL games. Clarke is also in negotiations to extend his stay, but is in a group that will have a nervous wait ahead.
Out of contract: Stephen Hill, Scott Jones, Ed Langdon, Lloyd Meek, Ryan Nyhuis, Darcy Tucker, Tobe Watson
There is significant change ahead for the Dockers in the post-Ross Lyon era. Aaron Sandilands, Hayden Ballantyne, Shane Kersten and Harley Bennell have all retired or parted ways with Fremantle. Langdon and contracted winger Brad Hill also seem headed for Victorian clubs in this year's NAB AFL Trade Period, and there continues to be noise about Sean Darcy. Hill's older brother Stephen is a free agent but is open to staying at Fremantle for the right offer. Mid-season draftee Dillon O'Reilly will continue after agreeing to another year, but it's unclear what will eventuate with Jones, Meek, Nyhuis, Tucker and Watson.
Out of contract: Gary Ablett, Jed Bews, Wylie Buzza, Jordan Cunico, Jamaine Jones, Lachie Henderson, Tim Kelly, Blake Schlensog, Scott Selwood, Zac Smith, Harry Taylor
Ablett seems set to wait until season's end before announcing whether he plays on, but his form has him in contention to be shortlisted for All Australian honours. Kelly is the other big talking point on whether he stays or goes, with the gun midfielder meeting with West Coast and Fremantle in recent times. Taylor, like Ablett, will make a call on what he wants to do post-season, but a third premiership may see him out. Henderson, Smith and Buzza have all been starved of senior opportunity to varying degrees and could look elsewhere. Selwood has also fallen out of favour, but Bews has played eight straight games since recovering from osteitis pubis.
Out of contract: Callum Ah Chee, Brayden Crossley, Jacob Dawson, Sam Fletcher, Jacob Heron, Nick Holman, Jack Leslie, Jack Martin, Tom Nicholls, Connor Nutting, Mitch Riordan, Brad Scheer, Harrison Wigg
Martin is the high-profile name among this crop and has interest from Essendon, Carton and the Western Bulldogs, but could yet stay. Holman, Heron and Dawson are all likely to earn fresh deals. Fletcher, who was recruited in the pre-season supplemental selection period, and mid-season draftee Riordan would be hopeful of the same. It's unclear where the talented Ah Chee sits as he recovers from season-ending ankle surgery, while Crossley is provisionally suspended after testing positive to a banned substance. Wigg, who missed the season because of a knee injury, will have to wait to find out about his future, but Leslie, Nicholls, Nutting and Scheer face an uphill battle to remain.
Out of contract: Dylan Buckley, Jack Buckley, Matt Buntine, Stephen Coniglio, Shane Mumford, Heath Shaw, Tommy Sheridan, Zach Sproule, Jake Stein, Adam Tomlinson
Coniglio is the AFL's most talked about player right now and it's anyone's guess where he lands, but it appears a three-way race between the Giants, Hawthorn and Carlton. There is also interest from multiple clubs in fellow free agent Tomlinson – who's long been linked to St Kilda – while Buntine is another high draft pick yet to make a call on his future. Veterans Shaw and Mumford will decide on their futures at season's end. The Buckleys – Dylan and Jack – Sproule and Stein look set to continue at GWS, but Sheridan's future is a little less certain.
Out of contract: Grant Birchall, Kaiden Brand, Shaun Burgoyne, Jon Ceglar, James Frawley, Will Golds, Damon Greaves, Ollie Hanrahan, Ricky Henderson, Harry Jones, Teia Miles, Darren Minchington, David Mirra, Tim Mohr, Marc Pittonet, Paul Puopolo, Ned Reeves, Jackson Ross, Ryan Schoenmakers
Irishman Conor Glass quietly added another season to his contract and will be a Hawk in 2020, while Frawley is close to locking in another one-year deal. Birchall, Burgoyne and Puopolo are among those yet to publicly confirm their futures, as well as in-form winger Henderson. Gold Coast is understood to be dangling a longer-term offer to Burgoyne. It's unlikely both Ceglar and Pittonet will be at Waverley Park next year, but they have options elsewhere. Mohr is likely to retire and Mirra is understood to be heading down the same path, while 2015 premiership player Schoenmakers' injury-riddled year may cost him. Miles could seek opportunity at a different club, but Greaves is closing on a new one-year deal. Hanrahan, Jones, Ross and Reeves will all get new contracts.
Out of contract: Kade Chandler, Kyle Dunkley, Sam Frost, Jeff Garlett, Declan Keilty, Jay Kennedy Harris, Jay Lockhart, Nathan Jones, Tim Smith, Billy Stretch, Corey Wagner
Joel Smith, Josh Wagner and Oskar Baker are all locked in for next year, while the other Wagner – Corey – and mid-season draftee Dunkley are also expected to continue. Frost is enjoying a career-best season and will come to terms at some point, while Jones is also going to continue next year. Stretch and Lockhart should also get fresh deals and Chandler just made his AFL debut after some promising VFL performances, but Tim Smith is highly unlikely to play on. Garlett, Kennedy Harris and Keilty are in a holding pattern.
Out of contract: Todd Goldstein, Nathan Hrovat, Tom McKenzie, Declan Watson
The Kangaroos are as organised as any club in regards to their out-of-contract players this year, fresh from a string of re-signings last week. All indications are that unrestricted free agent Goldstein will follow on a multi-year deal, but Hrovat – who is back in the senior team – McKenzie and Watson have a fight on their hands. A back injury ruined rookie-lister McKenzie's debut season, so that may help his cause for a fresh contract.
Out of contract: Karl Amon, Riley Bonner, Matthew Broadbent, Tobin Cox, Kane Farrell, Billy Frampton, Martin Frederick, Sam Gray, Cameron Hewett, Aidyn Johnson, Trent McKenzie, Kai Pudney, Paddy Ryder, Cam Sutcliffe, Jack Trengove, Justin Westhoff
Ryder seems headed for another club – he's been linked to St Kilda, Greater Western Sydney and Essendon – in part because of Peter Ladhams' emergence and Scott Lycett's long-term deal. Johnson is another who's unlikely to be at the Power in 2020 as he looks for greater opportunities elsewhere. Amon, Bonner and Gray have also been raised as potential trade targets throughout the season. However, forward-ruck Frampton is one player who is set to stay at Alberton, along with Farrell. Westhoff didn't re-sign until October last year and may do the same again, while Broadbent has played the past five games since returning from personal leave.
Out of contract: Jake Aarts, Shai Bolton, Dan Butler, Mabior Chol, Shane Edwards, Derek Eggmolesse-Smith, Brandon Ellis, Bachar Houli, Connor Menadue, Callum Moore, Patrick Naish, Ivan Soldo, Jacob Townsend, Maverick Weller
Mid-season draftee Marlion Pickett has signed a one-year contract extension as he tries to force his way into the Tigers' line-up for the finals. Edwards and Houli will continue barring a shock, but there is interest in what Bolton, Butler and in-demand free agent Ellis do. Butler's been starved of opportunity, while the other two also have interest elsewhere but have been senior regulars this year. Chol is carving out a niche for himself in the senior team in his third season on the list, and Aarts is likely to be retained as a rookie. Eggmolesse-Smith, Menadue, Moore, Naish and Soldo will have varying confidence of staying on, but Townsend and Weller may be up against it.
Out of contract: Nathan Brown, Doulton Langlands, Billy Longer, Jack Mayo, Jack Newnes, Lewis Pierce, Bailey Rice, Sam Rowe, Brandon White
Captain Jarryn Geary signed a one-year contract extension during the year in typically understated fashion, while Jake Carlisle reached a trigger clause in his contract for 2020. Pre-season recruit Jonathon Marsh is another who quietly re-committed mid-season for another year. Back-up ruckmen Longer and Pierce seem unlikely to be at the Saints next season, with the former likely to retire after taking a break from the game. Pierce is yet to be cleared to train after a significant concussion but may explore his options. Newnes has a contract offer in front of him. Rowe is likely to bow out of the AFL after his 100th career game on Saturday, and Brown, Langlands, Mayo, Rice and White will have to bide their time a bit longer.
Out of contract: Joel Amartey, James Bell, Darcy Cameron, Robbie Fox, Cody Hirst, Zak Jones, Michael Knoll, Jack Maibaum, Hayden McLean, Daniel Menzel, Toby Pink, James Rose, Durak Tucker
Jones is the biggest name here and is another player being linked with a move to St Kilda ahead of what looms as a busy NAB AFL Trade Period. Bell is set to remain on the rookie list or be upgraded to the primary list, while Knoll is believed to have signed on for another 12 months but fellow mid-season draftee Hirst is still waiting to find out. McLean, who was signed in the pre-season, should continue as well. Cameron's future is unclear and it may be at a rival club, while ex-Cat Menzel will hope he's done enough to earn a fresh deal.
Out of contract: Brendon Ah Chee, Matthew Allen, Patrick Bines, Hamish Brayshaw, Keegan Brooksby, Chris Masten, Fraser McInnes, Kurt Mutimer, Jackson Nelson, Brodie Riach, Will Schofield, Josh Smith
Mark Hutchings quietly re-committed until 2021 earlier in the season and has a trigger that could extend his contract by a further year. It is understood an announcement is also imminent on Lewis Jetta re-signing. However, premiership players Schofield and Masten remain without deals as the Eagles remain in the race for Tim Kelly. Ah Chee is likely to receive a one-year deal, as will former Magpie Smith. Category B rookies and basketball converts Riach and Bines and ex-Sun Brooksby are still waiting to find out if they'll score a second year. One of the AFL's great survivors, McInnes, may be nearing the end.
Out of contract: Bailey Dale, Tory Dickson, Ryan Gardner, Dale Morris, Fletcher Roberts, Roarke Smith, Lukas Webb, Bailey Williams
At age 36, Morris' playing future is up in the air after undergoing a knee reconstruction following his third such injury in 17 months only a few weeks ago. Dale's stock has soared as a regular goalkicker since returning to the senior side but is on record as saying he wants to stay at the Kennel. There are some other interesting names here as well, such as Williams and premiership defender Roberts, who have struggled for opportunities this season and could look elsewhere. Veteran sharpshooter Dickson will hope his form demands another deal, while injury-cursed Webb, mid-season draftee Gardner and Smith are others seeking a new contract.