RIVALS TO PONDER HAWTHORN OPTIONS
CLUBS are expected to use the weekend to mull whether they make a play for any of Hawthorn's contracted quartet.
Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett this week lit the fuse for further conjecture on the futures of Tom Mitchell, Jaeger O'Meara, Chad Wingard and Jack Gunston after informing members there may be 'surprising' decisions ahead during the end of the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period.
Clubs are aware that Hawthorn will listen to offers for its senior players and are open to discussions for strong draft capital in return, however at this stage clubs are biding their time before making calls to approach with offers.
Port Adelaide has been linked to O'Meara but the preliminary finalists have had no discussions in regard to the 27-year-old.
The Hawks have been investigating ways to aggressively improve their draft hand, with the club holding selections No.5, 21, 24, 59, 65, 81. Kennett said this week the club was focused on its future.
"We may be surprised at some of the decisions made but be assured they will be made after careful consideration of the club's future needs by those we charge to make such decisions," Kennett wrote in his letter on Thursday. - Callum Twomey
FREE AGENTS IN LIMBO AS UNRESTRICTED WINDOW CLOSES
THE OPPORTUNITY for unrestricted free agents to move to a club of their choice closed on Friday, with several players remaining unsigned and with their futures in the balance.
North Melbourne midfielder Trent Dumont is hoping to continue his career and searching for a new club after 113 games for the Kangaroos, who were happy for the former vice-captain to explore his options.
Collingwood forward Josh Thomas remains out of contract and did not move clubs as an unrestricted free agent, making it likely he will wait until the end of Trade Period to see if the Magpies can offer him a list spot.
Steven Motlop is expected to re-sign with Port Adelaide after ending the unrestricted free agency window without a new deal, while Western Bulldogs forward Mitch Wallis has not confirmed a new deal with his club.
West Coast premiership captain Shannon Hurn and champion forward Josh Kennedy remain out of contract but the club expects them to sign one-year deals when they return from short breaks.
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Jake Kelly (Essendon), Mabior Chol (Gold Coast), Luke Dunstan (Melbourne) and Tim O'Brien (Western Bulldogs) all moved clubs as unrestricted free agents this year, while Carlton secured George Hewett from Sydney as a restricted free agent.
Delisted players can still move as free agents now the unrestricted window has closed. - Nathan Schmook
TOP-END DRAFT MOVEMENT NOT EXPECTED
THE EARLY order of the NAB AFL Draft is expected to hold as is until potential moves closer to the event in November.
Clubs within the top-10 picks have fielded many calls about possible swaps and splitting of top selections but after the first week of the Trade Period it is looking increasingly likely the top 10 will stay as is.
INDICATIVE DRAFT ORDER Your club's picks as they stand
North Melbourne has knocked back big offers for pick No.1 and won't budge while Greater Western Sydney will hold firm with its No.2 selection for now with the possibility to sliding back closer to the draft for the right offer.
Gold Coast at pick No.3 and Adelaide at No.4 have both been interested at pushing up the order, while Hawthorn has tried to improve its draft position too but is at this stage considered unlikely to move from No.5.
Fremantle is expected to hold its pair of top-10 picks – No.6 and 8 – after securing the earlier selection as the main part of the Adam Cerra deal while Richmond has been keen to package up selections to move up from No.7, including in a proposed swap with Adelaide at No.4, but has yet to find a taker.
St Kilda (No.9) and West Coast (10) are also tipped to hold their selections during the Trade Period, with clubs then able to swap only selections in the weeks leading up to the draft and again during the event.
It is then, closer to the draft, that clubs will make more educated calls on pushing up or down the order with certain players in their sights. - Callum Twomey
BLUES TO MAKE CALL ON TOP-10 PICK
CARLTON'S work during the Trade Period is done, with the club now set to turn its attentions towards a decision on whether it offers a new contract to former top-10 pick Lochie O'Brien.
The Blues were among the major players in the first week of the trade and free agency window, trading pick No.6 in a package deal for Adam Cerra, signing George Hewett as a free agent and swapping Sam Petrevski-Seton for Lewis Young.
It also announced that Michael Gibbons and Sam Ramsay would not be offered new contracts for next season, leaving O'Brien and rookie quartet Matt Cottrell, Luke Parks, Oscar McDonald and Jordan Boyd as the only players without deals.
O'Brien, a top-10 selection in the 2017 NAB AFL Draft, has played only six games in the last two seasons but sat down with new Carlton coach Michael Voss recently as the club continues to weigh up whether it offers the 22-year-old an extension.
The Blues will head to a second consecutive draft without a first-round selection, having also parted with pick No.8 in a deal for Adam Saad last season, but remain content to start next month's proceedings with picks No.25, 64 and 82.
As things stand, the club has no plans to trade back into the first round this year and has alerted clubs that both its future first- and second-round selections are off the table as the Trade Period progresses. - Riley Beveridge
SECOND CHANCE FOR FORMER CAT?
GEELONG is among the clubs interested in Blake Schlensog, who the Cats delisted at the end of last year.
The rookie big man was cut after two seasons with the Cats as a Next Generation Academy pick-up and enjoyed an exciting season in the WAFL as one of its premier key position players.
The 199cm swingman impressed at both ends of the ground, including a five-goal haul for South Fremantle in round 17, to remain in the thoughts of clubs who also watched him closely ahead of the NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft.
He is viewed as a consideration for Geelong, and was interviewed by Richmond ahead of the mid-season intake, with clubs able to list him a number of ways, either as a delisted free agent or through any of the draft periods – the national, rookie or pre-season drafts.
The 21-year-old looms as a mature-age shot for clubs searching to boost their key position stocks. - Callum Twomey
IN OTHER NEWS
- Callum Coleman-Jones is a Kangaroo after a deal was struck with Richmond on Friday that saw Robbie Tarrant become a Tiger.
- Rory Lobb's manager, Colin Young, has spoken of his 'surprise' that Fremantle football boss Peter Bell has suggested a trade to Greater Western Sydney could be in doubt, sparking a war of words between the two.
- Two new offers are on the table as Adelaide mulls over an acceptable trade for Sydney wingman Jordan Dawson, with both involving an exchange of first-round picks.