ESSENDON is prepared to offer free agent Joe Daniher a deal up to four years as he considers his future at the club.
The Bombers are remaining hopeful of keeping the goalkicker a year after his failed bid to be traded to Sydney and have put their deal on the table to the 26-year-old.
A longer tenure is significant given Daniher played only 15 games in the past three seasons due to his ongoing groin troubles, but it is understood a three or four-year option will be there as Daniher considers his future.
As a restricted free agent, if Daniher decides to move he can nominate his club of choice but Essendon could match the financial terms of the deal and force it into a trade negotiation.
Or they could let him go as a free agent and receive a compensation selection based on his new deal.
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The Bombers' key forward stocks are bare behind Daniher and he remains an important part of their plans under new coach Ben Rutten.
After Essendon's loss to Melbourne on Saturday, Rutten said the Bombers were awaiting the 2017 Virgin Australia AFL All Australian and best and fairest winner's decision.
"He'll make his decision, but we need it reasonably quickly because things start to move when you finish the season," Rutten said.
"He knows exactly where he stands from my point of view and the footy club's point of view.
"I'm confident… I think the way he's fought back and hung in there over these last two years has been really difficult for him… and (he's shown) that level of commitment and work to get himself back.
"They (Daniher and his management) know exactly where they sit. If they're ready to make a decision, we're ready to roll."
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The Bombers have delisted five players and had another two players retire but they are facing off-field uncertainty with a number of pivotal players remaining out of contract heading into the off-season.
Daniher, Adam Saad, Andrew McGrath, Jordan Ridley and Kyle Langford are without deals for next year while other clubs also remain interested in some of their contracted players.