GEELONG defender Jake Kolodjashnij and Sydney midfielder George Hewett are the surprise additions to a group of eight restricted free agents around the competition this season.
AFL.com.au has previously revealed two updates of this year's free agency list, with the League's official release arriving in recent days, including the restricted and unrestricted banding of out-of-contract players which was delayed this season due to contract changes around the AFL.
There is a total of 126 free agents remaining unsigned past the end of this year at the midway point of the season, with 118 of them unrestricted.
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While Patrick Cripps, Marcus Bontempelli, Zach Merrett, Josh Kelly, Jack Billings and Matt Crouch were all expected to be restricted free agents, Kolodjashnij and Hewett were the interesting additions to the group.
A restricted free agent is a player in the top 25 per cent paid players at their club this year where they have been for eight or nine years.
It does not take into account the average salary of a player across his contract but simply the number of his final-year money, meaning some players can be lifted due to back-ending of deals or deferments of payments.
While Cripps inches closer to a contract extension with the Blues and Bontempelli is engaged in deep talks with the Dogs, Merrett, Kelly, Billings and Crouch are all leaving their decisions until later in the season.
Hewett was up for grabs during last year's trade period but has garnered rival interest this season after returning from injury to play seven out of nine Swans games so far, while clubs are also tracking Kolodjashnij, mindful there is a shortage on available versatile defenders.
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Clubs with restricted free agents are able to match rival bids on them, with unrestricted free agents able to walk to their club of choice.
North Melbourne midfielder Trent Dumont, who weighed up his future at the end of last season with a year to go on his contract, is one of 10 unrestricted free agents at North Melbourne – the biggest group of any club.
Unrestricted free agents are players outside their top 25 per cent paid players in their eighth or ninth seasons, have been at their club for 10 years or more or have been previously delisted, such as Brisbane's Jarryd Lyons or Carlton's Matt Kennedy.
Among the other notable unrestricted free agents are in-form Geelong gun Cam Guthrie, Richmond premiership stars Jack Riewoldt, David Astbury, Shane Edwards, Kamdyn McIntosh and Bachar Houli, Port Adelaide champion Robbie Gray and Western Bulldogs gun Tom Liberatore, who AFL.com.au revealed in April had pushed ahead with talks on a multi-year deal.
Sydney co-captain Josh Kennedy has been removed from the list after agreeing to a new deal for 2022, as forecast by AFL.com.au in April.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
Matt Crouch (Adelaide)
Patrick Cripps (Carlton)
Zach Merrett (Essendon)
Jake Kolodjashnij (Geelong)
Josh Kelly (GWS)
Jack Billings (St Kilda)
George Hewett (Sydney)
Marcus Bontempelli (western Bulldogs)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
^Previously qualified as a free agent
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
Matt De Boer*^
Brendon Ah Chee*^