MELBOURNE coach Paul Roos is comfortable with where James Frawley's contract situation sits – for now.
Frawley, an restricted free agent this year, is yet to make a decision on whether to commit to the club long-term and his contract status continues to be a major talking point at Melbourne.
The 25-year-old delayed talks with the Demons at the start of this year, as he sought to establish the direction in which the club is heading under Roos.
Amid criticism of Frawley from Melbourne legend Garry Lyon on Channel 9's Footy Classified on Monday night, Roos said the club was awaiting the key defender's decision.
"We're respectful that he's going to take his time to make a decision because that's the way free agency works," Roos said at AAMI Park on Tuesday afternoon.
"You need to know at some point. That point hasn't arisen yet, but at some point you do."
An All Australian defender in 2010, Frawley has spent the bulk of his time as a forward this season to help fill the void left by the absences of Mitch Clark, Jesse Hogan and, to a certain extent, Chris Dawes.
Roos said Frawley was an essential part of the Demons' aspirations to take the club towards finals in the future.
"James at his best is an All Australian defender and he's certainly been a really consistent player for this footy club," Roos said.
"We hope to keep him, we hope he stays."
If Frawley does depart, the Demons would have additional salary cap room to chase a big name free agent.
Roos has been on record saying Melbourne needs to add a couple of classy midfielders and the Demons coach said the club would explore all of its options at the end of this season.
"It's an enormous opportunity for each club. Free agency is a free hit," Roos said.
"I think clubs will gear up more and more to get free agents, depending on needs and it'll be interesting to see where we end up as an industry.
"For us, we're like everyone - you're going to scour the free agents on a yearly basis. You're going to contact managers, because that's just the way it is.
"Like everyone, if we identify a player that can help us then you're going to have a crack at them because that's the way the industry will work now."