Every Thursday AFL.com.au presents Inside Trading, with breaking news and the best analysis of the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period covering contracts, re-signings, free agents, the NAB AFL Draft and industry insights.
IMPROVED PIE SET FOR REWARD
COLLINGWOOD half-back John Noble is set to be rewarded for his form with a new two-year deal.
The Magpies are understood to be close to locking in Noble on an extension that would tie him to the club until the end of 2023.
The 24-year-old has solidified his place in Collingwood's line-up and been a success story of the 2019 NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft after the Magpies picked him up that season.
He played 17 games last year for the Magpies and finished in the top-10 of the best and fairest, and hasn't missed a game this season, which he started on the wing before settling in defence where his pace and run and carry has been important.
Noble, the son of North Melbourne coach David, had 10 disposals in the final quarter of Collingwood's barnstorming come-from-behind win over Richmond on Sunday and finished with 21 for the match.
His impending signature follows the new contracts of Ryan Gardner at the Western Bulldogs and Will Snelling at Essendon, both also graduates of the reinstated mid-season draft in 2019 that have also agreed to two-year deals. – Callum Twomey
TIGER'S TALKS PAUSED AMID RIVAL INTEREST
TRIPLE premiership forward Daniel Rioli has put contract negotiations on hold while he works to retain a spot in Richmond's best 22 in a new-found half-back role.
The 24-year-old last week returned to play his first AFL game since round 13 as a defender as the Tigers fell to Collingwood, plunging their finals hopes into disarray.
As reported by AFL.com.au, Rioli had started talks earlier this season on a two-year extension but his management and the club have since opted to park talks.
His agent Ralph Carr said there had been early interest in Rioli but expected negotiations with Richmond to pick up at season's end.
Another of Carr's Tigers' client, Shai Bolton, will also make a call on his future at the completion of the campaign.
The Tigers this year extended Jack Riewoldt and Shane Edwards to 2022, leaving premiership players including Kamdyn McIntosh, David Astbury, Bachar Houli also unsigned. – Mitch Cleary
DOCKERS PAIR IN TALKS
FREMANTLE has progressed in talks to re-sign speedster Travis Colyer as well as small forward Lachie Schultz beyond this season as it balances a number of rookie deals.
Colyer joined the Dockers from Essendon at the end of 2018 on a three-year deal that is due to expire at the end of this season.
The 29-year-old played 19 games across his first two seasons at the Dockers but has featured in all 16 matches this season – and ranks equal fifth in the competition for team scores per inside 50.
TRADE HUB All the latest player movement news
The Dockers have been keen to extend Schultz's contract after a solid season that has him sitting third in the club's goalkicking with 17.
It is understood the 23-year-old, who is a free agent after being delisted and then recontracted as a rookie last year, would remain a rookie on the proposed new deal. He has attracted some opposition interest but is believed to be happy at the club that drafted him with pick No.57 in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft.
The hard-working forward would join impressive youngster Josh Treacy on the rookie list in 2022 after the bullocking forward recently extended his deal for a further two seasons.
The Dockers have also committed to best 22 defender Ethan Hughes, whose senior list contract until the end of 2024 will be activated at the end of the season after the maximum three years on the rookie list.
Rookies Bailey Banfield and Brett Bewley, who have each had standout games in recent weeks but battled injuries, are without deals for next season.
By keeping players like Schultz on the rookie list, clubs are able to pay $80,000 of their wage outside the total player payments cap.
They can then negotiate any payments on top of that, which are included in the salary cap, meaning rookies are not restricted in what they earn.
AFL.com.au reported on Wednesday that gun veteran David Mundy was close to inking a contract extension that would tie him to the Dockers for a 19th AFL season. – Nathan Schmook, Mitch Cleary
DOGS LOOK TO BUMPER 2022 CONTRACTS
HAVING re-signed priority players Marcus Bontempelli and Tom Liberatore to new deals, the Western Bulldogs will start to focus their attention on locking in their group of key players coming out of contract at the end of next year.
The premiership contenders have a group of vital players whose deals expire at the end of 2022, including ruckman Tim English, midfielder Josh Dunkley and Therabody AFL All-Australian pair Jack Macrae and Caleb Daniel, who will hit free agency next year.
Bulldogs list boss Sam Power said with Bontempelli and Liberatore signed up the club could shift its mind to locking away some of its key pillars.
"We'll really start to turn our attention to those guys for 2022 now," Power told the Road to the Draft podcast.
"For different reasons some just take longer. Some have different focuses, some players are more willing to go a lot earlier, others turn their attention to it at the end of the season.
"For all of those guys and some others coming out [of contract], everyone is in a really good headspace at the moment. Everyone can see where we're going and the environment that the players and coaches are setting up is fantastic and it's a really good club to be around. We're really confident with all of those guys over time we'll be able to work through those contracts."
BROWNLOW PREDICTOR Who's leading the race for Charlie?
Dunkley's trade bid to head to Essendon last year failed but the Bulldogs expect the 24-year-old to be at Whitten Oval next year.
"All the conversations with Josh and with his management have been really positive with how he's going so there's nothing to suggest there that he would look and we've got confidence and definitely want him to be a Bulldogs player for a long time," Power said.
The club is in talks to extend first-round draftee Cody Weightman's deal after his impressive run of form in the forward line, while Power said the Dogs were keen to retain out-of-contract trio Patrick Lipinski, Lewis Young and Mitch Wallis, with all being in and out of the senior side throughout the year.
"They're three players that we want to retain and we see as having really bright futures at the football club. Hopefully over the course of the back end of the year we work towards that," he said. – Callum Twomey
SAINTS' NEXT GENERATION ACADEMY BOOM
ST KILDA is positioned to benefit from a Next Generation Academy boom this season, with talented pair Marcus Windhager and Mitchito Owens pushing up the draft board.
The Saints have access to a number of possible prospects under the NGA program this year, including Windhager, Owens, Scott Beilby, Angus McLennan, Josiah Kyle and Jack Peris.
Windhager, a powerful midfielder who can also play in defence and the forward line, appears the Saints' leading NGA prospect and the most likely to be closest to the pick No.20 cut-off at this stage (under new NGA rules clubs can't match bids on Academy prospects within the first 20 selections).
He had 25 disposals and four clearances in a Vic Metro's recent trial game against Vic Country.
But Owens' emergence has also made things interesting for the Saints, with the half-forward/midfielder starring as a late inclusion for Vic Metro last week with 29 disposals and a goal. He has also impressed for Sandringham in the NAB League this year, seeing his stocks rise as a possible second-round pick.
Beilby is an aggressive, combative half-back, McLennan a medium defender whose season was ended early by a shoulder injury and Kyle is a clever and exciting forward who played for Vic Country in the under-19s trial game.
Peris, a quick forward, is the son of former Australian athlete Nova Peris and has been a member of St Kilda's NGA program for several years after joining as a 15-year-old.
The Saints hold draft selections No.10, 47 and 65 in the first four rounds under the current ladder order. – Callum Twomey