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.
DEES FORWARD BACKFLIPS ON FUTURE
MELBOURNE is poised to retain young forward Sam Weideman.
Despite ongoing speculation that the talented 24-year-old would pursue opportunities elsewhere next season, AFL.com.au understands Weideman will commit his future to the club.
Weideman is unlikely to line up in Melbourne's Toyota AFL Grand Final team for this Saturday night's decider against the Western Bulldogs, having fallen out of favour behind Ben Brown, Tom McDonald and Luke Jackson this year.
His situation led to multiple clubs considering a move for the high-flying 195cm forward, with North Melbourne and Gold Coast understood to be among those most interested in his services.
But the Kangaroos instead focused on a deal for developing Tigers ruckman Callum Coleman-Jones, while the Suns turned their attentions towards uncontracted youngster Mabior Chol.
Without concrete interest beyond those two teams, Weideman returned to negotiations with Melbourne and is expected to pen a new deal with the Demons before the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period.
A two-year contract would take Weideman through until the end of the 2023 season and into free agency, where he could potentially depart the Demons without having to negotiate a trade agreement.
Weideman has played 49 games for Melbourne since being recruited to the club with pick No.9 in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft. He has played just five senior games this season for a return of only three goals. - Riley Beveridge
LIFELINE EXTENDED FOR TIGER
RICHMOND mid-season draftee Matthew Parker has committed to a new one-year deal to remain at Punt Road in 2022.
The 25-year-old was plucked out of South Fremantle in June, having been delisted by St Kilda after a two-season stint last year.
Parker's agent, Anthony Van Der Wielen of Empire Sports Management, confirmed his client would soon ink a fresh contract to remain on the rookie list into next season.
Parker played the final six games of the season for the Tigers as a midfielder/half-forward.
The WA native returned to Perth at the end of Richmond's campaign and was given clearance to play for South Fremantle in the WAFL finals. After a quiet return against Claremont in week one of finals, Parker collected 26 disposals and 10 tackles in the Bulldogs' loss to Subiaco on Saturday.
His side will again face Claremont on Sunday for a place in the WAFL Grand Final against Subiaco.
Parker's signature will leave Richmond with seven players out of contract. Sydney Stack is expected to ink a new deal, but Derek Eggmolesse-Smith, Noah Cumberland and a trio of key backs – Bigoa Nuyon, Ryan Garthwaite and Ben Miller – all remain unsigned.
The Tigers have committed to bringing in North Melbourne veteran Robbie Tarrant on a two-year deal to replace the retiring David Astbury. - Mitch Cleary
WHERE WILL THE COMPO PICKS FALL?
FOR THE second time in three seasons, the NAB AFL Draft's first round won't be impacted by free agency compensation picks.
After Zac Williams (GWS) and Joe Daniher's (Essendon) departures landed into the first band of compensation last year, this year's crop isn't expected to change the opening round.
The AFL awards compensation picks to the original club of a free agent based on the player's age and average wage of their new contract. They can fall in the first round, end of first round, second round, end of second round or third round.
George Hewett's move from Sydney to Carlton on a contract estimated at an average of $400,000-500,000 per season could see the Swans net an end-of-second-round or third-round selection.
For comparison, Brad Crouch's arrival at St Kilda on a deal valued at approximately $500,000-600,000 per season last year netted Adelaide a second-round pick.
Unrestricted free agent Mabior Chol's switch from Richmond to Gold Coast could land the Tigers a third-round pick given he's 24 and younger than a typical free agent. The ruck/forward was delisted by the Tigers at the end of 2018, handing him 'free agency for life' status.
Jake Kelly (Adelaide to Essendon) would likely fall into the third round, if at all.
Should Richmond receive a compensation pick for Chol, its acquisition of North Melbourne veteran Robbie Tarrant would come as a trade. Any incoming free agents can offset compensation received for outgoing free agents. - Mitch Cleary
INTEREST BUILDS IN SUNS' PICK
RICHMOND and Adelaide are among the clubs interested in Gold Coast's pick No.3 with the Suns open to splitting the selection for multiple top picks.
The Suns inquired about trading up to pick No.1 with North Melbourne listening to offers, but the Roos are strongly tipped to hold the selection with South Adelaide teenager Jason Horne-Francis in their sights.
As reported in Inside Trading earlier this month, the Suns are open to trading their top-three pick for two early selections, which has seen the Tigers show interest. Richmond is well placed to make a move up the board with picks 7, 15, 26 and 28 inside the top 30.
The Tigers could package multiple selections to jump up the order, with future picks also an option at their disposal.
The Crows hold pick No.4 at the draft but that will be bumped back to No.6 after bids on father-son pair Nick Daicos and Sam Darcy and they have also shown interest in potentially edging up the board. Adelaide also holds pick 23 but will also be looking to negotiate a trade with Sydney for Jordan Dawson.
Finn Callaghan, Ben Hobbs and Josh Ward are all midfield options pressing to be top-six draft picks, while Josh Gibcus and Mac Andrew are the tall options in the mix outside of Darcy.
Any pick swap deal at the top end could come much closer to November's NAB AFL Draft, however, with clubs able to swap selections up until a week before the event – and then again during the draft. - Callum Twomey
MARTIN KEEN TO GO AGAIN
AS HE shapes as a key player in the Western Bulldogs' Grand Final chances on Saturday, ruckman Stef Martin says he is determined to play on in 2022.
Martin joined the Bulldogs last year on a one-year deal with a trigger for a second season, although injuries will mean he doesn't reach that mark.
However the former Demon and Brisbane big man, who will turn 35 in November, said he wants to continue his career into a 15th AFL season.
"I am desperately keen to play on next year. I even was when the injuries were hanging around, I was optimistic it would all come good and I would get it right eventually I just had to bide a bit more time," Martin told AFL.com.au.
"I would love nothing more than to be around the Dogs next year, that's very much on my agenda."
Martin was dogged by a groin injury that threatened to end his season mid-year but he made a recovery in time to be selected for the Dogs' preliminary final win over Port Adelaide.
He will face off against former teammate Max Gawn in a ruck contest that will have a big bearing in this weekend's Grand Final at Optus Stadium. It will be Martin's ninth game of this season, and the 199th game of his career. - Callum Twomey
NEW DEALS FOR MAGPIES
COLLINGWOOD'S Tom Wilson is set to benefit from the AFL's new rookie rule with a one-year extension with the Magpies, as forward Jack Ginnivan also pens an extension.
Wilson, a former Sydney Kings and Australian Boomers basketballer signed a three-year category B rookie deal with the Pies in 2019 and was due to come off the rookie list.
But a change in rules for next year allowing rookies to spend a fourth year on the list due to the difficulties developing at state-league level over the past two seasons has meant that Wilson is set for another year on the Pies rookie list in 2022.
Wilson showed promising signs in 2021, with the 195cm defender making his AFL debut in round nine and playing four games for the season.
Ginnivan was a highlight of the Pies' end to the season, with the small forward booting six goals from five games and showing his spark. His one-year deal will see him stay on the rookie list for next season.
The Pies will soon re-sign skipper Scott Pendlebury on a two-year deal, but Max Lynch and Mason Cox are exploring other options while Brayden Sier has also been left without a deal.
Veteran forward Josh Thomas will have to wait until the end of trade period before knowing his future for next year.
Western Bulldogs midfielder Patrick Lipinski and Geelong tall Nathan Kreuger are expected to head to Collingwood during the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period. - Callum Twomey, Riley Beveridge
BLUES PLAY WAITING GAME
THE FUTURE of Carlton's remaining uncontracted players is set to be among the first agenda items for the club's next coach, with former top-10 pick Lochie O'Brien and impressive rookie Michael Gibbons among those still facing uncertainty.
Port Adelaide assistant Michael Voss is the overwhelming favourite to be named Carlton's new coach in the coming days, giving him ample time to be updated on the club's list ahead of the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period.
It's expected the new Blues leader will spend his first days working through the prospects of a number of players without deals for next year and will have a significant say in determining who he would like to retain for season 2022 and beyond.
Carlton has been on a re-signing spree since its season ended in August, tying Jack Silvagni, Brodie Kemp, Nic Newman and Marc Pittonet to fresh two-year extensions and veteran Ed Curnow to a one-year deal in recent days.
But a number of players, including O'Brien and Gibbons, remain without contracts for next season and are set to have their fates determined shortly after the club's next coach is announced.
O'Brien was a top-10 pick in 2017 but has played just six games in the last two seasons and has struggled to establish himself as a consistent presence, while Gibbons has featured 47 times in three years since being recruited to the club as the VFL's best player.
Rookie wingman Matt Cottrell, pressure forward Josh Honey, goal sneak Matt Owies, tough defender Luke Parks and experienced midfielder Matt Kennedy are among the others also uncontracted beyond this season.
Classy onballer Sam Petrevski-Seton – who was also a top-10 pick in 2016 – is another uncontracted for next season but will ply his trade elsewhere, having officially requested a move to West Coast on Tuesday afternoon.
The two clubs will enter into negotiations regarding a deal for Petrevski-Seton in the coming days, with the Eagles currently in possession of picks No.10, 29, 36, 49 and 65 at this year's NAB AFL Draft. - Riley Beveridge
DRAFTEES ON STRAVA?
VICTORIAN draft prospects could have to turn to running apps such as Strava to submit their 2km time trial times if the NAB AFL Draft Combine is not able to be staged as planned.
The AFL officially cancelled the national Draft Combine that was scheduled for next week in Melbourne, with state-based Combines to be held around the country in coming weeks.
It is hoping to stage the Metro and Country Combines over the weekend of October 9-10 to test the prospects' athletic and physical traits. Any plans for further games in regional areas have been dashed by the continuing COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria.
But if the players are unable to test as a group in October, a last resort would likely see them asked to test themselves and track their own endurance running times and submit them to clubs.
The makeshift move was used by AFLW hopefuls ahead of the AFLW draft earlier this year in another sign of the times during the pandemic.
Medical testing of the draftees will be done by clubs where possible but skinfold testing, as revealed by AFL.com.au in March, won't be undertaken after advice was raised against clubs using the data. - Callum Twomey