Every Thursday AFL.com.au presents 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.
WILL RICHMOND HAVE A MID-SEASON DRAFT PICK?
RICHMOND'S involvement in this year's NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft, having been the unequivocal winner of its reintroduction two seasons ago, is likely to hinge on the progress of ruckman Ivan Soldo in his return from a knee reconstruction.
The Tigers picked then 27-year-old Marlion Pickett in the mid-season intake in 2019, proving to be one of the all-time great draft choices as he went on to debut in that season's Toyota AFL Grand Final victory over Greater Western Sydney before becoming a two-time premiership player last year.
But the club at this point does not have a spot open for this year's mid-season rookie draft, which will be held after round 11 on June 2.
Unless the Tigers suffer a season-ending injury in the next three weeks, the club's decision on whether it takes a selection could come down to Soldo's progress from his knee reconstruction, which hit a setback in recent weeks.
The 2019 premiership big man went down with the torn anterior cruciate ligament in September last year. He recently had an arthroscope and then earlier this month had further surgery to tighten his medial ligament. The club said last week it would be "very cautious" with his return.
Richmond can open a place in the mid-season draft by pushing Soldo to the inactive list, however it would mean that he is not available for selection for the rest of 2021 as the mid-season pick would be using his spot.
KIDS IN THE MID Wounded Tigers put depth to the test
The Giants did not have a place available for the mid-season draft but now can use a selection given the season-ending knee injury to Lachie Keeffe on the weekend.
Fremantle, too, is now in a position to participate in the mid-season draft should it choose to be involved, with last year's top national draft pick Heath Chapman suffering a shoulder injury last week that has ruled him out of the remainder of the season, as well as Sam Sturt (knee) and likely Michael Frederick (ankle) opening up positions. – Callum Twomey
TIGER TURNED CROW BACK TO TIGERLAND?
RICHMOND is keeping tabs on its former small forward Tyson Stengle over the potential of a career renaissance at Punt Road.
The ex-Tiger parted ways with Adelaide after two seasons in March this year with part of his settlement allowing him to be eligible for the Mid-Season Rookie Draft on June 2.
Richmond's mid-season plans are currently dependent on Soldo's recovery, with the Tigers among a host of clubs monitoring Stengle for what could also present as an option for a lifeline in the player movement window at season's end.
The 23-year-old has had a strong start to the SANFL season for Woodville-West Torrens, booting four goals against the Crows in his first game and has averaged 16 disposals from his three full matches.
Several AFL clubs are expected to do their due diligence on a player the Crows extended until 2022 in August last year before he was caught with drugs alongside Brad Crouch in September and later pictured with an illicit substance in December.
While Stengle is free to find a new AFL home next month, some clubs are keen to see how he performs over the length of a full season.
Should he be recruited to move to Melbourne, Stengle would likely link up with former Crows teammate and Carlton veteran Eddie Betts who remains a close mentor. Betts and Stengle also shared time together late last year.
Despite wanting to keep Stengle, the Tigers traded the crumbing forward to Adelaide at the end of 2018 after two games in yellow and black in 2017. Stengle played two games for the Crows in 2019 and featured in the season-opener in 2020 before he was banned for four matches for drink-driving in April, only to win his spot straight back and play a further 11 games for the season. – Mitch Cleary
OUT-OF-CONTRACT SWAN ATTRACTING INTEREST
CLUBS are monitoring out-of-contract Sydney defender Jordan Dawson, who is yet to start talks on a new deal with the Swans.
Dawson has become a mainstay of Sydney's back half over the past three seasons with his damaging left-foot kicking and versatility making him a weapon out of defence.
The 24-year-old, who joined the club as pick No.56 at the 2015 NAB AFL Draft, attracted interest the last time he was out of contract in his breakout 2019 season and isn't expected to open discussions on a new deal until mid-year.
The South Australian is understood to be on the radar of several clubs, with Adelaide among them, given his ability to break the lines with his long kicking, sharp disposal and valuable 192cm size. He ranks ninth in the AFL this season for metres gained.
Dawson, who will this week play his milestone 50th game of his career, has played 44 of the Swans' past 47 games, including all eight this season in the club's improved campaign.
He kicked 15 goals from 20 games in 2019 in a role where he was deployed more forward but has caught the eye of rivals as an attacking half-back, which is one of the most desirable player types for clubs. – Callum Twomey
GOLD COAST SET TO SECURE FREE AGENT
SEAN Lemmens' move to defence has been a raging success for Gold Coast this season, and the wheels are in motion to keep the free agent at Carrara.
Coming to the end of a three-year deal, Lemmens and the Suns have begun negotiations on a new contact.
The 26-year-old played his 100th game against St Kilda last weekend and has rejuvenated his career with a switch back to the position he first made his name in.
After playing as a small forward in recent seasons, Lemmens is now minding the opposition's most dangerous small, keeping Jordan De Goey goalless two weeks ago.
He will likely mind red-hot Charlie Cameron in Saturday's QClash.
Although not officially in the club's leadership group, the South Australian is revered around the Suns for his work with younger players. – Michael Whiting