SEVEN Richmond premiership stars headline this year's bumper free agency crop which looms as the best in its decade of existence. 

AFL.com.au can reveal 140 players are eligible for free agency this season, including 10 club captains and a host of superstars of the competition. 

Jack Riewoldt will become a free agent for the first time, joining Nick Vlastuin, David Astbury, Kamdyn McIntosh, Shane Edwards and Bachar Houli as Tigers up for grabs. 

>>Scroll down for the full list of free agents

Triple premiership defender Dylan Grimes also qualifies but is understood to be closing in on a fresh deal to remain at Punt Road beyond 2021. 

It looms as the Tigers' toughest test to keep together its successful list after losing just two premiership players (Brandon Ellis and Dan Butler) to rival raids across their three flag years. 

04:31 Mins
Published on

Superstars headline bumper 2021 free agency crop

Cal Twomey and Mitch Cleary reveal the big name free agents for 2021

Published on

Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli, Blues co-captain Patrick Cripps and Essendon jet Zach Merrett are first-time free agents as they enter their eighth season at their original clubs out of contract. 

They are joined by a host of fellow 2013 NAB AFL Draft products including Giant Josh Kelly, Saint Jack Billings, Roo Luke McDonald, Demon Christian Salem, Eagle Dom Sheed and Crow Matt Crouch

Skippers Dayne Zorko (Brisbane), Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood), Joel Selwood (Geelong), Max Gawn (Melbourne), Jack Ziebell (North Melbourne) and Luke Parker (Sydney) are also included. 

WHO'S MOVING? All the latest trade and contract news

Former Greater Western Sydney co-captain Callan Ward has been removed from the list after penning an extension with the Giants for 2022. 

Collingwood goalkicker Jamie Elliott would have qualified but has hit a trigger for a third season for his contract, seeing him extended through to the end of 2022, while Carlton midfielder Jack Newnes was also originally set to again be a free agent but has also hit a trigger clause tying him to the Blues to the end of next year. 

This year's bevy of names can be in part attributed to the uncertainty around future salary caps last year which saw clubs defer extending already contracted players. 

Bontempelli, Cripps and Merrett will spearhead the list of restricted free agents who qualify as eight or nine-year players entering free agency for the first time and who sit in the top 25 per cent of their club's earners. 

Other players expected to fall into this range include Kelly, Crouch, Billings and Vlastuin. 

Bids for restricted free agents can be matched by their existing club – such as the Giants' landmark call on Jeremy Cameron last year which forced the Coleman medallist to seek a trade to Geelong. 

FIXTURE BREAKDOWN Double-ups, byes, what your club says

Any players outside the top 25 per cent of earners or who have served 10 years or more at their current club will be eligible as unrestricted free agents. 

Players previously delisted or those who have previously qualified as free agents fall into the same bracket. 

FOOTY'S MIRACLES ON DEMAND

Enjoy the most Incredible Comebacks in AFL history, showing every goal from the most significant margin until the final siren

Watch Now

St Kilda key target Tim Membrey looms as a fascinating unrestricted free agency case having been delisted from Sydney at the end of 2014 before becoming a regular contributor at the Saints.

Brisbane midfielder Jarryd Lyons also qualifies after moving from Gold Coast to Brisbane as a delisted free agent at the end of 2018. 

CIRCLE THEM IN YOUR CALENDAR The 20 matches of 2021 you won't want to miss

Essendon's Dylan Clarke and Carlton's Matt Kennedy, among a host of players delisted and 're-rookied' by their clubs at the end of 2020, are also deemed 'free agents for life'. 

Players such as Port Adelaide pair Tom Rockliff and Steven Motlop and Fremantle's Reece Conca, who moved as a free agent and fall out of contract at their new club, are classed as unrestricted free agents. 

Free agency was introduced by the AFL in 2012. 

2021 FREE AGENTS

* Previously delisted
^ Previously qualified as a free agent

ADELAIDE

Matt Crouch
Ben Davis*
Bryce Gibbs*
Jake Kelly
Rory Laird
Tom Lynch
David Mackay*
Daniel Talia
Taylor Walker

BRISBANE

Connor Ballenden*
Grant Birchall*^
Jarryd Lyons*
Rhys Mathieson*
Daniel Rich
Mitch Robinson*
Archie Smith*
Dayne Zorko

CARLTON

Eddie Betts*^
Levi Casboult
Patrick Cripps
Ed Curnow
Matthew Kennedy*
Marc Murphy

12:49 Mins
Published on

The Best Of 2020: Jaw-dropping goals of the season

Daicos, Dusty, Cripps, Newnes and many more moments of goalkicking genius from the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season

Published on

COLLINGWOOD

Chris Mayne^
Scott Pendlebury
Josh Thomas*

ESSENDON

Patrick Ambrose
Dylan Clarke*
Martin Gleeson*
Cale Hooker
Zach Merrett
Will Snelling*
David Zaharakis

FREMANTLE

Bailey Banfield*
Brett Bewley*
Reece Conca^
Stephen Hill
Ethan Hughes*
David Mundy
Lachie Schultz*
Matt Taberner

GEELONG

Jed Bews
Oscar Brownless*
Cameron Guthrie
Lachlan Henderson*
Jake Kolodjashnij
Joel Selwood

08:57 Mins
Published on

The 10 best moments of the 2020 season

Look back on the standout performances and plays from a remarkable season of football

Published on

GOLD COAST

Sam Day
Jarrod Harbrow*
Nick Holman*
Jack Hombsch*
Sean Lemmens
Jordan Murdoch*
Zac Smith*
Jacob Townsend*

GWS

Matt Buntine*
Phil Davis
Matt de Boer*
Lachlan Keeffe*
Josh Kelly
Daniel Lloyd*
Sam Reid*
Zach Sproule*
Jack Stein*

HAWTHORN

Luke Breust
Keegan Brooksby*
Shaun Burgoyne
Michael Hartley*
Ben McEvoy
Dylan Moore*
Tim O'Brien

14:28 Mins
Published on

The Best Of 2020: Nailbiting finishes of the season

Edge of your seat games decided by under one goal from the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season, including two after-the-siren thrillers

Published on

MELBOURNE

Mitch Brown*
Max Gawn
Neville Jetta
Nathan Jones
James Jordon*
Aaron Nietschke*
Christian Salem

NORTH MELBOURNE

Shaun Atley
Tom Campbell*
Trent Dumont
Taylor Garner
Kyron Hayden*
Luke McDonald
Connor Menadue*
Robbie Tarrant
Josh Walker*
Will Walker*
Jack Ziebell

PORT ADELAIDE

Tyson Goldsack
Robbie Gray
Hamish Hartlett 
Steven Motlop^
Tom Rockliff^
Boyd Woodcock*

07:28 Mins
Published on

The Best Of 2020: Outstanding marks of the season

Walsh, Hill, Wood, Cameron and many more speccies from the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season

Published on

RICHMOND

David Astbury
Mabior Chol*
Shane Edwards
Dylan Grimes
Bachar Houli
Kamdyn McIntosh
Ben Miller*
Jack Riewoldt
Nick Vlastuin

ST KILDA

Jack Billings
Oscar Clavarino*
Luke Dunstan
James Frawley*^
Jarryn Geary
Darragh Joyce*
Shaun McKernan*
Tim Membrey*
Dylan Roberton*
Seb Ross

SYDNEY

Kaiden Brand*
Robbie Fox*
Sam Gray*
George Hewett
Josh Kennedy
Sam Naismith
Luke Parker
Sam Reid

WEST COAST

Brendon Ah Chee*
Shannon Hurn
Mark Hutchings*
Jamaine Jones*
Josh Kennedy
Dom Sheed
Daniel Venables*

WESTERN BULLDOGS

Marcus Bontempelli
Ben Cavarra*
Taylor Duryea^
Ryan Gardner*
Will Hayes*
Lin Jong
Tom Liberatore
Stefan Martin^
Roarke Smith*
Mitch Wallis