JACK Steven's future is in doubt despite the Geelong midfielder having one year remaining on his contract.
AFL.com.au understands there have been preliminary discussions over the possibility of Steven departing the Cats prematurely.
WHO'S MOVING? All the latest trade and contract news
Any severing of ties between Steven and the Cats would need to be agreed to by the veteran, with a financial settlement for his final season.
TURN IT ON
Listen to Trade Radio and keep up to date with all the latest news as it happens, plus follow our live blogFROM 7am-7pm AEDT
The 30-year-old signed a two-year deal until 2021 when crossing from St Kilda at the end of last year, adding one season on top of his previous contract at Moorabbin.
However, the 2020 season didn't pan out as Steven would have hoped with constant soft tissue setbacks limiting him to nine AFL matches.
His return to training following the season shutdown in May was also delayed as he recovered from a stab wound.
The Cats are expected to have at least 10 players aged 30 or above next season with Shaun Higgins (32) likely to follow Isaac Smith (31) down the highway to Geelong.
INDICATIVE DRAFT ORDER Your club's picks as they stand
Should Steven depart the Cats, it would open up another list spot as the clubs await finalisation of squad sizes and salary cap details from the AFL.
With Tom Hawkins, Brandan Parfitt and Zach Tuohy expected to formally announce new extensions soon, it leaves the Cats with 10 players out of contract.
Sam Simpson had been in talks with the club over a new deal late in the season, while Grand Final emergencies Brad Close and Zach Guthrie, and Irishman Stefan Okunbor appear to have done enough for contracts.
Nakia Cockatoo is bound for Brisbane and Lachie Henderson is expected to be re-contracted after a career turnaround saw him play the last 14 games straight.
WHO'S LEAVING? Your club's retirements and delistings
It leaves Quinton Narkle, Ben Jarvis, Jake Tarca and Darcy Fort – who also has interest from the Western Bulldogs – in limbo.
Contracted midfielder Charlie Constable is assessing his options at rival clubs, however Jordan Clark (contracted to 2022) is expected to stay despite interest from WA clubs.