NORTH Melbourne goalkicker Ben Brown, Collingwood gun Darcy Moore, Western Bulldogs premiership captain Easton Wood and Essendon speedster Adam Saad are among the group of players whose contract discussions have been paused indefinitely due to the coronavirus crisis.
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Clubs use the summer months and pre-season period to start negotiations with player agents, hoping to lock in some of their most important personnel.
But those plans have gone awry with the AFL suspending its season due to the COVID-19 threat, with the majority of list management and recruiting teams stood down across the competition.
Player managers and clubs have also been told that any contracts lodged in the foreseeable future will not be approved by the League as it comes to grips with the massive economic hit the AFL will take as a result of the pandemic and what it will mean for player salaries and club lists.
It has meant some big names who were in the midst of contract talks will have things put on hold, including Brown, the club's leading goalkicker of the past four years.
He had been in discussions for a new deal once his contract expires at the end of 2020.
In a similar position is Saad, who has finished in the top four in the Bombers' best and fairest in his two seasons at the club. Essendon had opened talks for a multi-year deal as long as four years, however, that cannot progress.
Collingwood had opened discussions with star defender Moore, who looms as one of the most sought after players, and talks had continued through recent weeks. However it now appears parties will let things settle before resuming negotiations.
Things haven't got to that point for out-of-contract Magpies gun Jordan De Goey, with talks having not started as he scours the market for a new manager.
Discussions for a new contract for Wood, who handed over the Dogs' captaincy to Marcus Bontempelli ahead of 2020, were also underway but have been halted.
Many players and clubs around the AFL are stuck in the same holding pattern with deals that end at the close of this season but with so much uncertainty about football's future.
Talks had begun for an extension for Richmond's premiership midfielder Jack Graham, the same for Geelong defender Jack Henry, while Melbourne goalkicker Bayley Fritsch was also close to a new deal.
Discussions had started for Giants defender and now Carlton backman Lachie Plowman and Collingwood forward Brodie Mihocek for respective new deals, while youngsters Riley Collier-Dawkins (Richmond) and Tristan Xerri (North Melbourne) were also pushing towards new deals before the AFL was swept up in the global concern.
Harry Perryman showed his class for Greater Western Sydney on Saturday night with a career-best haul of four goals, and he is one of a number of out-of-contract Giants whose talks had started but have since been stopped.
Industry sources believe it is the middle rung of players, more so than the top-end types such as Giants free agent Jeremy Cameron, who will suffer most as a result of the stopping of contract discussions through this times.
Fellow Giants free agent Zac Williams, who had planned to wait until mid-year before beginning talks with the club, has not changed his position and thus the coronavirus calamity has not affected his movements.
Plenty of clubs aim to re-sign their top draftees to two-year extensions before they have even played a game, particularly for players away from their home state.
This was the case for Adelaide's pick No.6 Fischer McAsey, for whom a new deal was progressing but has been put on the backburner as the clubs manage the fallout of recent weeks and stand key staff down over the next two months.