HAWTHORN captain Jarryd Roughead's future beyond this year will be discussed post-season as the four-time premiership player struggles to recapture his best form.
The Hawks great is contracted for 2019 and his potential retirement – only speculation at this stage – would be a further separation from the club's flag three-peat after Cyril Rioli's recent decision to call it quits.
Rioli had two years left on his contract when he made his decision, but that was based on a different set of circumstances.
Coach Alastair Clarkson, who arrived at Hawthorn only two months before Roughead was drafted in 2004, told reporters there had been no discussion with the 2013 Coleman medallist.
AFL.com.au put Roughead's form on the agenda back in May after he was goalless in consecutive weeks for the first time in three years.
"It will all depend a little bit on 'Roughy'," Clarkson said.
"He's still contracted and we're really keen to see out contracts where we possibly can, but his form wouldn't have been to the standard he would have liked throughout the course of this year.
"Having said that, his second half against the Bulldogs only a week ago was first-class, as was a lot of our players. We had an outstanding second half in that game.
"He was poor, together with a number of other players (against Brisbane) … 'Roughy' is one of about a dozen players who needs to play a bit better than he did last week."
Clarkson is famously ruthless with his list management, highlighted most recently with his role in offloading Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis to West Coast and Melbourne, respectively.
He managed to flip the veteran pair in the same 2016 trade period as he regenerated his midfield with Tom Mitchell (Sydney) and Jaeger O'Meara (Gold Coast).
Two years on, the Hawks are one of the leading contenders to secure Suns spearhead Tom Lynch's services at season's end.
"We haven't even spoken about (Roughead's future) and we probably won't until later in the year," Clarkson said.
"He's still contracted and we're hoping we can put some solid form together, get some wins, get ourselves into the finals, then we'll talk about it at the end of the year."
Roughead might even reprise his defensive role against Carlton on Sunday in James Sicily's absence with a broken wrist, although Jack Gunston appears the prime candidate.
The Blues, coached by one of Clarkson's former assistants in Brendon Bolton, have faced a torrent of criticism this year about the progression of their rebuild.
Clarkson was charged with the same task back when he started at Hawthorn, but said it was a much different experience to the one Bolton and co are going through.
"It's hard work, but they're on the right track," he said of the bottom-placed Blues.
"We've been through it, but that was a long time ago, too. Time's changed.
"Free agency wasn't a part of it back when we rebuilt our club and we also had the benefit of priority picks, so that means the landscape has changed enormously."
Clarkson declined to comment on whether Carlton, which has just one win through 17 rounds, should lobby the AFL for a priority pick.
The Blues beat the Hawks by seven points in the most recent clash between the clubs in round 22 last year.