THE SEASON might have just finished and the player movement period doesn't start until Friday but clubs and managers are already deep into discussions about changes ahead of next year.
Free agency officially opens on Friday while the Telstra AFL Trade Period begins next Monday.
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AFL.com.au's Trade Winds will provide a round-up of the latest developments each morning until the end of Trade Period on Wednesday, October 16.
Grundy 'circus' threatens Magpie distraction
Collingwood risks going into next season with a major contract story hanging over its head if star ruckman Brodie Grundy hasn't signed a new deal.
Grundy is reportedly after a massive long-term deal, with seven years being touted for the gun big man, but the Magpies have yet to come to the party.
The South Australian has spoken about thoughts of a return to Adelaide to be closer to family and friends, but he's also said Collingwood remains his first choice if the club offers him the security of a new multi-year contract.
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Speaking on Telstra Trade Radio on Wednesday morning, AFL.com.au's Damian Barrett said Grundy's future has the potential to bring all sorts of distractions to the Pies.
"A star Collingwood player going into the final season of his contract in 2020 ... It's already a circus," he said.
"Could you imagine if he hasn't re-signed by round 10?"
Grundy told reporters on Tuesday that he's willing to commit to the Pies now if the deal is right.
"Yeah, absolutely, I don’t know if you have spoken to my manager Robbie D’Orazio, but the phone is always on," he said.
"Collingwood gave me an opportunity to play AFL football and I love the club and where I am at, and personally what I give to the team.
"If something was to eventuate (that would be good). It’s not like it is a closed shop.
"I am an open book and I am pretty transparent, and I have been pretty transparent all the way through.
"The conversation is there, if they would like (to have) it."
Grundy said if he hasn't signed with the Pies by the time the 2020 season kicks off, he's prepared to cop the scrutiny that comes with his looming free agent status.
Dustin Martin, Josh Kelly and Stephen Coniglio are some of the stars to play into the final year of their contracts without issue, but the spotlight on Collingwood would be another level next season.
Patton goes with no hard feelings
Big GWS forward surprised nobody on Tuesday when he declared the Hawks as the club he wanted to play for in 2020, and the Giants won't stand in his way.
Coach Leon Cameron told Fox Footy on Tuesday night that Patton is a much-loved member of the club and will always be treasured as an original member of the Giants' squad under Keven Sheedy.
It was a bizarre situation late this season as AFL.com.au has watched Patton train fully for the past couple of months of the year, without playing.
It was even more strange given the fact that key forwards Jeremy Cameron, Jeremy Finlayson and Harry Himmelberg all missed games with injury in the lead-up to the finals, so Patton would have been handy for the Giants.
At times, the powerful forward cut a lonely figure at training, having set shots while the rest of the Giants completed match simulation work.
Patton was reportedly 'spooked' when close mate Stephen Coniglio went down with a knee injury in round 17 and wasn't willing to risk his own future with another setback of his own.
Another serious injury for Patton late in the year would have seriously hurt his chances of a deal at the Hawks.
Frosty reception at Waverley?
Melbourne defender Sam Frost is set to become the latest opposition player to nominate Hawthorn as his preferred new home.
AFL.com.au has confirmed Frost will ask the Demons to make him a Hawk once the Trade Period begins.
The key defender with plenty of speed played a career-high 22 games for Melbourne this year, averaging 13.4 possessions and 3.2 rebound 50s, but hasn't been offered a new contract with the club.
Channel Seven is also reporting that North Melbourne is also looking at Frost, after the retirement of veteran backman Scott Thompson.
Frost has played a total of 91 senior games over eight seasons after beginning his career with Greater Western Sydney in its inaugural season in 2012.
Saints want Jack to be where he's happy
St Kilda coach Brett Ratten said the club was open to working with four-time club champion Jack Steven to get him to Geelong, but they would also gladly keep him at Moorabbin.
Steven, who has battled mental health issues this year and has been linked with the Cats since last year's Telstra AFL Trade Period, is expected to head to Geelong if the clubs can get a deal done.
Ratten told SEN radio on Wednesday that Steven's wellbeing was the most important aspect of the situation.
The St Kilda coach said the 29-year-old was contracted until the end of 2020, so the club expected to be compensated if he chose to leave.
"We're happy to let him go under contract, but we want something reasonable back for him," Ratten said.
"Jack is a quality person and he's gone through a tough season. He finished the season in the seniors and it was great that he could finish the season ... with a smile on his face."
Steven has played 183 games over 11 seasons for St Kilda, but managed just seven this season after taking multiple breaks to work on his mental health.