SYDNEY came close to making a stand and letting Jordan Dawson 'walk' to the NAB AFL Pre-Season Draft during its trade stand-off with Adelaide.
After three weeks of discussions, a deal for Dawson was eventually agreed on the night before trade deadline day with the Swans accepting a future first-round pick tied to Melbourne.
But the Swans did consider closing down the tense negotiations over the 24-year-old as the Crows refused to improve their offer, which could have seen Dawson nominate for the Pre-Season Draft to try to get to his club of choice.
"We discussed [the Pre-Season Draft] internally. The situation with Jordan was that he wasn't a free agent, we'd put six years of development into him," Swans football manager Charlie Gardiner said on Thursday.
"It was never discussed with Adelaide, it didn't come up but it is a reality that if we couldn't conclude a deal the alternative was to lose him for nothing to either Adelaide or another club with a selection in the Pre-Season Draft.
"Was the club mindful of making sure that it sends a message, did it consider putting a stake in the ground? Yeah, we did consider it and it's something that we're mindful of, but ultimately we thought the right thing to do was accept Melbourne's future first."
Dawson, who spent much of the trade period in his hometown of Robe in South Australia's south-east, said he was happy that the Swans were compensated.
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"I love everyone there and and have great relationships back in Sydney still," he said on Thursday.
"I have spoken to a lot of the (Sydney) players, coaches. Obviously they're disappointed to lose me as a bloke and a player. But I have got a lot of great relationships there and I know for a fact that I will still have great friends after footy in Sydney."
The Swans were still active on deadline day working on a deal to bring in Peter Ladhams from Port Adelaide a year after first looking to do so.
The 202cm Ladhams will initially continue in the forward/ruck role that he regularly played at the Power while also supporting 30-year-old Tom Hickey in the ruck.
"We set out to try to bring Peter in, we think he's a genuine long-term No.1 ruck option for us and a key part of our list build," Gardiner said.
"We think he can complement and work really closely with Tom over the next couple of years and then progress into a genuine No.1 ruck for us.
"They're difficult to find. If you look back the really top-line ruckman have been taken very early in the draft or you typically have to pay a really high price at the trade table."
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Ladhams' arrival will increase competition for forward spots to support Lance Franklin with fellow talls Logan McDonald, Hayden McLean and Joel Amartey showing promising signs this year.
It also puts premiership forward Sam Reid's place at the Swans under threat with the 29-year-old yet to be offered a new deal after another injury-hit season.
Reid has shown in the past that he is also a capable defender and could be set for a fresh role as a way to continue his career at the Swans.
"We've been pretty open with Sam, he knows where he sits where we said that we'd defer a decision in relation to his future until post-trade period," Gardiner said.
"Sam has been a terrific player and one thing he does bring is versatility, he can play at both ends of the ground.
"We've seen him go back late in games and play that seventh-defender role, so we're pretty confident that he could play a role like that."