CARLTON veterans Marc Murphy and Levi Casboult are set to be among the first handful of players to re-sign with their clubs following the AFL's call to lift the contract freeze.
AFL.com.au understands the out-of-contract pair have all but agreed to new deals to stay at the Blues for 2021 and will be free to ink extensions immediately.
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Murphy turned 33 last week but is seen as an important cog in bridging the Blues' older brigade to the next wave of talent and has played every match this season.
Casboult, 30, is enjoying a career-best season in his return to the front half and is ranked seventh in the competition for contested marks.
The AFLPA relented on players backing up off four-day breaks on Tuesday and were granted their wish for lodgement of players contracts to proceed for the first time since March.
While most player agents and clubs have continued talks through the freeze period, many are still expected to wait for further clarity on list sizes and total player payments for the final two years of the current CBA in 2021 and 2022 before recommitting.
AFL general manager of football Steve Hocking said finalisation on both matters was "still a fair way off" when speaking on Wednesday afternoon.
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Players that commit before list sizes and the salary cap are locked in are expected to include clauses in their new deals that will move depending on where both fall.
Gold Coast's top two picks in last year's NAB AFL Draft Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson are among the players to have agreed in principle with deals that could be lodged as early as this week.
Essendon is expected to ramp up talks on former NAB AFL Rising Star winner Andrew McGrath's next deal, while Port Adelaide will be eager to lock in power forward Charlie Dixon after his rich vein of form.
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Like Murphy and Casboult, veterans at clubs – including the likes of West Coast's Shannon Hurn – are others tipped to be easy deals to tick off in coming weeks.
Middle-tier players are expected to be more reliant on more information around list sizes and the salary cap and will be in no rush to re-sign.
Free agents including Joe Daniher, Brad Crouch, Jeremy Cameron, Zac Williams are free to sign with their existing clubs.