ESSENDON gun Zach Merrett signed a mega six-year extension taking him off the free agency market, and Carlton co-captain Patrick Cripps followed with his own six-year commitment.

But there remains more than 100 free agents unsigned for next year across the competition, headed by the likes of Greater Western Sydney gun Josh Kelly, Saints playmaker Jack Billings and Swans co-captain Luke Parker.

Here is the rundown on your club's free agents and how things are placed as the off-season quickly approaches for players and list managers.

*Previously delisted
^Previously qualified as a free agent

Matt Crouch (restricted)
David Mackay*^ 
Daniel Talia 
Thomas Lynch 
Jake Kelly 
Ben Davis* 

Crouch (groin), Talia (foot) and Lynch (toe) have all been dogged by injury for much of the season, with coach Matthew Nicks recently saying how they finish 2021 would have a large say in their future. Lynch was back playing in the SANFL last weekend and could still have a role to see out the season with youngsters Darcy Fogarty and Billy Frampton struggling to nail down a forward line spot. Mackay is about to turn 33 and has played 11 solid games on a wing and look like he could go on, while Kelly is still resolute in defence, has played all 14 games, offers experience for the back six and has plenty of good footy ahead. – Michael Whiting

Matt Crouch feels the heat during the round 15 clash between Hawthorn and Adelaide at Adelaide Oval in September, 2020. Picture: Getty Images

Archie Smith* 
Mitchell Robinson* 
Rhys Mathieson* 
Connor Ballenden* 
Grant Birchall*^ 

Mathieson is always on the fringe, but the Lions are a perfect seven-for-seven when 'The Beast' has been called in as a replacement this season. He may garner interest from other clubs looking for an inside midfielder, but if he's prepared to accept his current role, Brisbane should extend his tenure. Robinson is also having a terrific season. Now 32, he has missed just one of the Lions' previous 67 matches and a one-year extension appears likely. A decision on Birchall won't come until later in the year, with his manager recently telling AFL.com.au he was "50-50" on playing on. Back-up ruckman Smith hasn't played this year, while versatile tall Ballenden has played just one game, but offers solid support in the ruck or either end of the ground. – Michael Whiting

Rhys Mathieson celebrates a goal against Hawthorn in round 11, 2019. Picture: AFL Photos

Marc Murphy
Levi Casboult
Eddie Betts*^
Ed Curnow
Matthew Kennedy*
Oscar McDonald*

Decisions will need to be made on veterans Murphy and Casboult, who have both spent periods in the VFL this season, as well as Betts and Curnow. The latter have been mainstays in the senior side, with Curnow likely to stay on a one-year deal and Betts still weighing up his future after being placed on the rookie list for this season. Kennedy has made an impressive return to the senior side in recent weeks and provides valuable depth, while McDonald started the season strongly after joining the club as a supplemental selection period signing before suffering a long-term back injury. Expect the club to commit to both. – Riley Beveridge

Levi Casboult enters the ground with his children ahead of round nine match between Melbourne and Carlton at the MCG on May 16, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Scott Pendlebury
Josh Thomas*
Chris Mayne^

Pendlebury, who already holds the Pies' games record, is expected to sign a one-year extension that will take him beyond 350 matches. Mayne will turn 33 ahead of next season and is keen to go on in what would be a sixth year at the Pies but will have to wait until season's end for an answer under a new coach. The ex-Docker continues to be selected in the best line-up and has moved to defence at times this year to allow for the development of younger players on the wing. Thomas, who turns 30 in October, was a favourite of Buckley's in attack and has played the first two games under Robert Harvey but it remains to be seen where he sits in the club's long-term plans. – Mitch Cleary

Scott Pendlebury leads the Pies out ahead of the clash against Adelaide in round 12, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Cale Hooker 
David Zaharakis 
Martin Gleeson*^ 
Patrick Ambrose 
Dylan Clarke* 

Hooker wants to play on for another year although a decision won’t be made until the end of the season and his form has dropped away in recent weeks. He has kicked 30 goals from 15 games this season shouldering plenty of the load inside-50 but has booted one goal in the past three games. The 31-year-old Zaharakis has been relegated to the VFL at times this season and appears more likely to be at the end of his career, while Gleeson was recalled for round 17 but his last AFL outing before that was in round two. Ambrose has had another injury-hit season but offers backup as a forward or defender. – Callum Twomey

Cale Hooker in the action during the round 15 clash between Essendon and Melbourne at the MCG on June 26, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

David Mundy^
Stephen Hill
Bailey Banfield*
Brett Bewley*
Reece Conca^
Lachie Schultz*

Negotiations for Mundy to extend his career into a 19th season will start soon, with the 35-year-old holding his excellent form and justifying an extension. The veteran midfielder ranks second at Fremantle in disposals (25.6), inside 50s (4.6), clearances (5.9) and score involvements (7.1), leading the Dockers for centre clearances (2.3). Schultz has provided solid service on a rookie contract and deserves an extension, ranking second for goals (17). Bewley likewise has shown he can add handy depth on a wing. Soft tissue issues have prevented Stephen Hill from playing this season and his ability to string some games together in the remaining two months will dictate his future. Bailey Banfield has been unable to break into the team, while Reece Conca has played one game since round nine. A one-year deal for Conca, who played some excellent shutdown roles early in the season, seems reasonable. – Nathan Schmook

David Mundy celebrates the round 15 win over Collingwood at Marvel Stadium on June 26, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Joel Selwood
Cameron Guthrie
Lachie Henderson*^
Oscar Brownless*

Selwood is close to inking a new one-year deal that will make him the longest-serving skipper in the game's history – provided he keeps the job for 2022. The 33-year-old, who has led the Cats in 215 games but will sit out Saturday's clash against Carlton, needs 12 more to pass Stephen Kernahan. Guthrie has opened talks on an extension that is likely to command at least three years as he enjoys another stellar season. Henderson's future appears to be a post-season conversation as it was last year, while Brownless will want a strong finish to the year in the VFL in order to be retained. – Mitch Cleary

Joel Selwood cops one high from Josh Daicos during the Magpies' round 11 clash with the Cats at the MCG on May 29, 2021. Picture: Michael Willson

Sam Day 
Jarrod Harbrow*^ 
Sean Lemmens 
Zac Smith* 
Jack Hombsch* 
Jordan Murdoch* 
Jacob Townsend*^ 
 

Lemmens has found a home as the primary small defender and is closing in on a new deal while Nick Holman is off the list after hitting a trigger for next year. Day should be a priority after overcoming a knee injury that kept him out for three months. The Suns' original doesn't produce big numbers, but helps take pressure off Ben King in the forward line and provides a strong back-up ruck option. Smith has played five games in the absence of Jarrod Witts, while Harbrow, Hombsch, Murdoch and Townsend have been stuck in the VFL. – Michael Whiting

Sean Lemmens and Matt Rowell celebrate the round 16 victory over Richmond at Marvel Stadium on July 1, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Josh Kelly (restricted)
Matt Buntine*
Sam Reid*^
Daniel Lloyd*
Zach Sproule*^
Jake Stein*

Kelly is perhaps the League's most intriguing free agent, given he has the option of triggering a lucrative eight-year extension to stay with the Giants. Rival clubs remain in the dark about Kelly's decision, though teams are lining up to lure him back to Victoria. Reid and Lloyd should be retained, given they have both proven themselves as valuable role players once again this year, while Buntine has also chipped in for seven games and is expected to commit to the club. Decisions will need to be made on Sproule and Stein, who are both coming towards the end of their fifth seasons at the Giants but haven't broken through into the senior side on a consistent basis this year. – Riley Beveridge

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Shaun Burgoyne
Tim O'Brien
Dylan Moore*
Keegan Brooksby*^
Michael Hartley*^

After being delisted and re-rookied at the end of last year, Moore qualifies as an unrestricted free agent. The 21-year-old is one of only eight Hawks to have played every game this season and sits second to Luke Breust for goals with 20. He is expected to win a multi-year extension less than a year after being available to all clubs. O'Brien has been in and out of the Hawks' side and it remains to be seen how the coaching succession plan will impact his future. Burgoyne is set to retire, while Brooksby and Hartley will likely have to wait for an answer at season's end. – Mitch Cleary

Tim O'Brien takes a spectacular mark during the round 15 clash between Greater Western Sydney and Hawthorn at the MCG on June 27, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

Nathan Jones
Neville Jetta*
Aaron Nietschke*
Mitch Brown*^
Majak Daw*^

There are tough decisions across the board for the Demons, with veteran duo Jones and Jetta likely to be at the centre of their thoughts. The 33-year-old Jones is likely coming towards the end of his career, having reached the 300-game landmark earlier this season before spending a series of weeks in the VFL. The 31-year-old Jetta is also on the outer among the senior set-up and could be another nearing the end of his career. There are question marks about whether Nietschke continues his career after a third successive ACL injury suffered in pre-season. The club said they had long-term plans for supplemental selection period signing Daw, which may indicate he could be retained, but Brown remains on the fringes of the team's forward line and has played only once this year. – Riley Beveridge

Melbourne's Nathan Jones is chaired off after his 300th AFL game in round six, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

Robbie Tarrant
Jack Ziebell
Shaun Atley
Taylor Garner^
Trent Dumont
Kyron Hayden*^
Will Walker*
Tom Campbell*
Josh Walker*^
Connor Menadue*

Kangaroos coach David Noble said last week he expected Tarrant to finish his career at the club, while veteran duo Ziebell and Atley would also be in line for new deals after consistent campaigns. There is a growing feeling Dumont could depart the club at season's end, having explored his opportunities during last year's Trade Period, while there is also uncertainty surrounding Garner's future. Josh Walker, Campbell, Hayden and Menadue have provided good depth options this season, while Will Walker has endured another year plagued by injury. – Riley Beveridge

Robbie Tarrant of the Kangaroos handballs during round 16, 2020. Picture: AFL Photos

Robbie Gray 
Hamish Hartlett 
Steven Motlop^ 
Tom Rockliff^ 
Boyd Woodcock*^ 
Tyson Goldsack^ 

Gray is expected to sign an extension, despite a recent knee injury that will sideline the four-time All Australian until late in the season. Motlop should also earn a new contract after several impressive performances from the 30-year-old, particularly early in the season. Hartlett has been in and out of the team but would provide value in 2022 while the Power are contending. Likewise Rockliff, 31, who has not played since round two due to knee issues and deep vein thrombosis. Boyd Woodcock has played nine games in three seasons, while 34-year-old Goldsack is essentially now a development coach. – Nathan Schmook

Robbie Gray leaves the field with his knee in a brace after the win over Gold Coast in round 14, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

David Astbury 
Bachar Houli^ 
Kamdyn McIntosh 
Mabior Chol* 
Derek Eggmolesse-Smith* 
Matthew Parker* 
Ben Miller*

There's some interesting names still on the free agency list at Punt Road. Three-time premiership defender Astbury would be expected to get a new deal in line with some of the extensions given to other veteran flag heroes, but there's been no movement on a new deal for McIntosh, a two-time premiership wingman. Chol has plenty of interest in the market given his ability as a key forward and ruck and limited opportunities at Richmond in recent years, while Houli, who went down with an ankle injury over the weekend, is towards the end of an accomplished career. – Callum Twomey

Richmond's Kamdyn McIntosh fends off Gold Coast's Touk Miller in round 12, 2020. Picture: AFL Photos

Jack Billings
Jarryn Geary^
Sebastian Ross
Luke Dunstan
Darragh Joyce*
Oscar Clavarino*
James Frawley*^
Paul Hunter*^
Shaun McKernan*^
Mason Wood*^

The Saints have the most fascinating free agency crop of the competition. Billings is set to come off a sizeable contract with the Saints yet to progress any serious talks on an extension. The wingman has been playing through foot pain in recent weeks and may command more value elsewhere. Ross has been praised for his ability to play in a variety of roles including wing and half-back in 2021 but remains without a deal, while Geary has been given no definitive answer on his future after a shoulder injury that will all but end his season. Dunstan is in arguably career-best form but the Saints will need to weigh up if he in their best 22 for round one next year with Zak Jones, Hunter Clark and Jade Gresham back. Wood is likely to have done enough for another season, but the futures of Clavarino, Joyce, McKernan, Frawley and Hunter remain up in the air. – Mitch Cleary

Jack Billings gets his kick away during the round seven match between St Kilda and Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium on May 1, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

George Hewett (restricted)
Sam Reid 
Luke Parker 
Robbie Fox* 
Sam Gray* 
Kaiden Brand* 

The big watch is on Parker, who is enjoying a terrific season in the midfield and leads the Swans for disposals (also 15th in the AFL), clearances and centre clearances. But he remains unsigned and an unrestricted free agent. As AFL.com.au reported in June, talks have opened on an extension for the Swans' co-captain but nothing remains close. Hewett, too, is in an interesting place as a restricted free agent, meaning the Swans can match an offer for him given he is in their best 25 per cent paid players this year. His name was floated in trade talks last season. Reid hasn't played since round six, while Gray and Brand, who joined as delisted free agents two years ago, offer depth but haven't become first-choice players at Sydney. – Callum Twomey

Luke Parker celebrates a goal against St Kilda in round 12, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Shannon Hurn 
Josh Kennedy 
Mark Hutchings*^ 
Daniel Venables* 
Brendon Ah Chee*^ 
Jamaine Jones* 

Kennedy is keen to play on and has earned the right with some clutch performances this season, while premiership captain Hurn is still contributing at a high level and could go on. Venables' playing future lies in the hands of a specially convened AFL concussion panel, with the forward still experiencing concussion symptoms two years after being sidelined. Jones has played 14 games and done enough for a new contract, while Ah Chee has been in and out with injury and is probably less certain. Strong WAFL performance since recovering from a knee injury have not been enough for popular tagger Hutchings to break into the team, leaving his future uncertain. - Nathan Schmook   

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Mitch Wallis 
Lin Jong 
Roarke Smith*^ 
Ben Cavarra* 
Taylor Duryea^ 
Will Hayes* 
Stefan Martin^ 

After nabbing Tom Liberatore on a two-year deal this week the Dogs have a number of other contract situations to work through. Wallis' future is unclear, with the Dogs' vice-captain squeezed out of the side for most of the season but playing his best game of 2021 with three goals last week. Duryea's form warrants a new deal while Martin has a trigger clause for a second year after crossing from Brisbane but has had some injury concerns of late. – Callum Twomey

Mitch Wallis in action during the round 16 clash between the Western Bulldogs and North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on July 4, 2021. Picture: Michael Willson