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.
PORT CAPTAIN EXTENDS
PORT Adelaide skipper Tom Jonas has added an extra year to his contract, re-committing with the Power through to the end of 2023.
He joins vice-captain Ollie Wines in adding further years to their deals in extensions that have helped the Power refrain from asking their players for bigger list-wide pay cuts seen at other clubs.
Vice-captain Wines had two years remaining on his deal when he agreed to a four-year extension last year, essentially tying him to the Power through to the end of 2026.
Skipper Jonas also was already contracted to the club until the end of 2022 but it is understood he has added an extra year to his deal, to the end of 2023, that will help the club smooth out its long-term agreements.
Under his original deal, Wines was due to be paid more than $1 million in each of the 2021 and 2022 seasons after his contract was back-ended, but his willingness to add on extra years to help the club level out his annual intake helped it avoid requesting more players shift their money.
Jonas, who took on the sole captaincy last season having shared the duties with Wines in 2019, is also believed to have agreed to the extension knowing it would help ease the club's cap position in moves that have won praise at Port Adelaide.
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Wines has been the target of Victorian clubs throughout his career, including Essendon and Carlton, but will be 32 if he sees out his long-term deal with Port Adelaide. He told AFL.com.au last year he wanted to stay at Alberton as he saw it as his best chance at success. – Callum Twomey
ONE TIGER LOCKED IN, MORE TO COME
RICHMOND defender Liam Baker has triggered a new deal for 2022, while the club is also expected to hand injured ruckman Ivan Soldo a one-year extension.
Two-time flag winner and former rookie Baker hit a trigger last year that has seen him add an extra year onto his deal, which was due to expire at the end of this season.
Baker has developed into a crucial member of the Tigers' defence with his smarts, toughness and clean ball use pivotal in their back-to-back 2019-20 flags.
And the Tigers are set to extend Soldo's stay at the club. The 24-year-old, who featured in the club's 2019 Grand Final win over Greater Western Sydney, comes out of contract at the end of this season but the club intends to add another year to his deal through to the end of 2022.
Soldo missed out on last year's flag victory against Geelong after requiring season-ending surgery following his knee injury in the second last home and away game of 2020.
Soldo is racing through his recovery from the injury, with Tigers coach Damien Hardwick recently saying that the club's medical team expect the ruckman to return to the field later this season. – Mitch Cleary and Callum Twomey
DEFENDER CLIMBS EAGLES' LIST OF PRIORITY SIGNINGS
WEST Coast has identified young defender Josh Rotham as a priority re-signing this year, with the 23-year old’s deal set to expire at the end of 2021.
Rotham broke into the Eagles’ team for round one ahead of high-profile recruit Alex Witherden on the back of an impressive pre-season that highlighted his versatility.
Detailed discussions on his future are yet to start, but it is understood the Eagles have earmarked him among their list management priorities.
Rotham is viewed as a talented defender ready to launch into the next stage of his career if given playing opportunities and is on the radar of opposition clubs given his contract status.
Coach Adam Simpson has spoken about Rotham being among a group of Eagles who will drive improvement this season.
The underrated West Australian was recruited with pick No.37 in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft and has played 15 games, including 10 last season.
The Eagles have significant depth in their backline, but Rotham’s ability to break into a full-strength group in round one was indicative of his strong pre-season and prospects in 2021. – Nathan Schmook
SHOULD TRADE PERIOD BE SHORTER?
COACHES are split on the ideal length of the Trade Period, with many believing it should be reduced.
Last year's Trade Period ran for nine days between November 4-12, with a flurry of deals again going through in the final hour.
In AFL.com.au's survey of the senior coaches, 40 per cent of coaches who completed the questionnaire said it should be shorter. 46 per cent, however, suggested the length of the period was right to get deals done.
The AFL has been keen to introduce a mid-season trade period or even a pre-season trade period but been rebuffed by clubs, however two senior coaches supported the idea of "multiple" trade periods throughout the year. – Callum Twomey
WHEN WILL PLAYERS STRIKE THEIR NEXT DEAL?
NEGOTIATIONS to sort the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for next year and beyond appear set to ramp up mid-season.
Agents were informed at a briefing on Wednesday that the AFLPA were yet to enter deep discussions with the AFL.
Given the outbreak of COVID-19, the original CBA for 2017-2022 was re-drawn for 2021 with a fresh set of terms put in place.
The overall salary cap dropped by nine per cent for 2021 on intended figures, with every player asked to take a minimum of 3.5 per cent pay cut.
The remaining differential came down to a reduction in list sizes and the ability for players who had pre-existing deals in place prior to the 2020 season shutdown to shuffle money into future years.
However, a host of clubs introduced uniform cuts for their whole playing list including Richmond (five per cent), West Coast (seven) and St Kilda (seven).
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The next period the AFLPA and AFL will commit to is across 2022-2024 with the level of the bounce back of the AFL industry this year integral to the outcome.
Despite a CBA for next year not yet in place, players signing fresh deals for 2022 and beyond are committing to a rate that can be altered on a percentage basis depending on the size of the new salary cap. – Mitch Cleary