Every Thursday this season AFL.com.au will present Inside Trading, with breaking news and the best analysis of the player movement landscape covering contracts, trades, free agents, the NAB AFL Draft and industry insights.
DOCKERS OFFER LONG-TERM DEAL TO YOUNG STAR
FREMANTLE has moved to lock in young gun Adam Cerra, with the Dockers offering the emerging midfielder a four-year contract extension.
Cerra looms as one of the club's priority re-signings this season as he enters his fourth year at the club. His contract expires at the end of the year, with the Victorian remaining on the radar of clubs in his home state.
But the Dockers have put forward the long-term offer, which mirrors the tenure accepted by Andrew Brayshaw at the end of last season and would keep Cerra in purple until at least the end of 2025 when he would qualify as a free agent.
Brayshaw (No.2 overall) and Cerra (No.5) were selected at the 2017 NAB AFL Draft.
The 21-year-old has been a constant member of Fremantle's line-up since joining the club, missing only three games in the past three seasons and last year playing every game under new coach Justin Longmuir.
The classy ball-user is settled in Perth with his partner, and is considered a huge part of the Dockers' climb up the ladder.
Cerra, who has not been in a rush to re-sign, is expected to feature this season as an inside midfielder, having been a regular wingman last year as well as stints across half-back and half-forward in his career so far. - Callum Twomey
KEY TO ROOS REBUILD CLOSES IN ON EXTENSION
North Melbourne forward Nick Larkey is edging towards a fresh deal that will tie his future to the club.
Larkey, 22, looms as an integral piece of the Roos' uprise under new coach David Noble and the new focal point in attack in life after Ben Brown's departure.
Talks are well underway for the 198cm spearhead to clinch a new multi-year contract that is likely to be confirmed in coming weeks.
CRYSTAL BALL Our predictions for the 2021 season are in
Preparing to enter his fifth season at the Roos, a three-year extension would take Larkey to the start of free agency.
Larkey booted 14 goals from 10 matches last season with his return after the season restart delayed due to a hotspot in his foot. - Mitch Cleary
ANOTHER CROWS DEAL DONE, BUT WHAT ABOUT CROUCH?
ADELAIDE has been on a re-contracting rampage ahead of the season starting but will remain waiting on a decision from gun free agent Matt Crouch.
The Crows on Thursday locked in a new two-year deal for exciting forward Shane McAdam.
Young defenders Andrew McPherson and Josh Worrell also penned new two-year deals earlier this month, while Harry Schoenberg and Brodie Smith extended in January as the Crows quickly locked away their playmakers. It leaves much of the focus on Crouch, whose brother Brad quit the Crows last year as a restricted free agent to join St Kilda.
Crouch's management and the club are in dialogue on a new deal but the prolific midfielder has been focused on getting his body right ahead of the start of the season following off-season hip surgery.
The 25-year-old, who was an All-Australian in 2017, was dropped early last season but made his way back into the Crows' line-up and played 16 games.
Discussions have opened on a new two-year deal for defender Tom Doedee.
AFL.com.au revealed in December that Victorian clubs were monitoring top-10 pick Fischer McAsey, who has had a contract offer from the Crows in play for some time but not yet recommitted beyond 2021. - Callum Twomey
PIES TO CATCH GLIMPSE OF FATHER-SON GUN
COLLINGWOOD will get its first sight of gun father-son prospect Nick Daicos in competitive action this weekend, with the potential No.1 pick set to feature for the Magpies in a VFL scratch match on Friday.
Daicos, who has been training with the club over the summer as part of its Academy program, is set to join his older brother Josh and his father Peter in being recruited to Collingwood later this year at the NAB AFL Draft.
Scouts view the tall midfielder among the best talents in this year's draft pool, with the highly-rated teenager set to feature for the Oakleigh Chargers in its upcoming NAB League season.
However, his top-age campaign is set to officially begin on Friday afternoon after he was named in Collingwood's VFL team for a practice match against Footscray.
Such is his lofty potential, Magpies coach Nathan Buckley told AFL.com.au earlier this month that Daicos' form in training had been so strong he would have been in the frame to play round one this year had he been eligible.
Daicos is set to continue a strong family legacy at Collingwood, with his father Peter a premiership legend after 250 games for the club and his older brother Josh into the fifth season of an already promising 35-game career. – Riley Beveridge
PRESSURE GAUGE How much heat is your coach under?
HAWKS RECRUITER WINS NEW GIG
Hawthorn has moved quickly to split the roles vacated by departed football boss Graham Wright's to hand recruiting boss Mark McKenzie a promotion.
McKenzie will now assume the position of list manager to go with his portfolio as national recruiting manager.
Wright previously oversaw the club's list management before crossing to Collingwood as head of football in the off-season.
McKenzie joined the Hawks ahead of the 2012 season in the title of recruiting and special projects manager. It came just months after he tasted premiership success as captain for Woodville-West Torrens in the SANFL.
Rob McCartney was appointed the Hawks' head of football in November, promoted from his position he held as football operations and strategy manager last year. - Mitch Cleary
ROOS FREE AGENT PLEDGES FUTURE
North Melbourne is expecting no issues in convincing new vice-captain Luke McDonald to commit his future to the club, with its reigning best and fairest winner determined to pen a fresh long-term contract at Arden Street.
McDonald capped a breakout campaign with his maiden Syd Barker Medal last year and was further rewarded for his improved form with elevation into the club's leadership group for the first time over the summer.
The 26-year-old is one of 11 Kangaroos players who qualifies for free agency this season, along with fellow established senior talent like Trent Dumont, Shaun Atley, Robbie Tarrant and captain Jack Ziebell.
However, the club's former father-son pick has revealed he is determined to pledge his future to the Kangaroos by signing a new deal as soon as possible.
2021 FREE AGENTS Check out who is up for grabs
"I think that's something that will get done sooner rather than later," McDonald told AFL.com.au.
"Obviously, being a North Melbourne man all of my life, I don't see that changing any time soon.
"David Noble has come in and there are a lot of new, young faces around and a lot of new coaches. It's been a really positive summer and there's a really good feeling around the group." - Riley Beveridge
HOW TO PAY THE SUBS?
Clubs will not have to include the match payment for a medical substitute within their salary cap after the AFL rushed in the rule just a day before the season begun.
But they will still have to pay the players their money outside of the total play payments model. It means some could consider using players who are on based contracts – such as a flat $300,000 annual income – as their medical sub rather than players who are on match payments to avoid having to pay the extra money.
Under the collective bargaining agreement, first and second-year players and rookies receive match payments of around $4000-5000 a game. Across the competition and season it could cost the clubs a total of around $2.5 million.
Any incentives triggered by the medical substitute won't be included within the club's salary cap.
However clubs are mindful that players may reach their triggers for a new contract through being the medical substitute, with many around the competition having games played triggers built into their deals that sees them automatically tick over for another year at their respective club. - Callum Twomey