RICHMOND premiership midfielder Brandon Ellis has parked contract negotiations as he prepares to explore his free agency options.
A restricted free agent at season's end, Ellis has received interest from Victorian clubs including Carlton, North Melbourne and Essendon with others outside Melbourne monitoring his situation.
It is understood Ellis, 25, will meet with his management in the next month to assess his options for 2020, with the Tigers well aware of his plans to canvass the open market.
The Blues will look for readymade options this year after going to the draft in recent seasons, while the Roos and Bombers are both in need of added midfield depth.
However, the Blues and Roos find themselves in list management limbo before season's end with a number of decisions up in the air, as both clubs are without a senior coach for 2020.
Ellis last re-signed a two-year deal at Richmond in August 2017 and finds himself in the Tigers' top-10 earners this season as a restricted free agent.
Since 2017, the Tigers have lured Tom Lynch and signed 11 premiership players beyond 2019 including healthy extensions for Dustin Martin, Nick Vlastuin, Dylan Grimes, Daniel Rioli and Kane Lambert.
As a result, it is believed Ellis would be bumped down the pecking order of top earners at Punt Road should he wish to stay.
The Tigers are also set to extend Shane Edwards' contract into 2020, with a deal still to be struck for integral key defender David Astbury, an unrestricted free agent this season.
Others out of contract include Dan Butler, Liam Baker, Shai Bolton, Nathan Broad and Kamdyn McIntosh.
Ellis was dropped twice last season, including on the eve of finals, and was overlooked for round one this year but has since played 12 matches and returned to his best averaging 22.3 disposals per game.
Coach Damien Hardwick admitted last month he had focused too much on the downfalls in Ellis' game in recent seasons.
"He's had some challenges, there's no doubt. The great thing about Brandon, the thing I love, is he accepts the areas he's got to get better at," Hardwick said.
"But also as a coaching group, I probably didn't understand and back in his strengths enough. That was on me. To his credit, he's gone on and is playing some wonderful footy.
"He's playing his natural game, his ability to run and create, use the ball, mark, has just been really evident for me to see, which is really pleasing.
"It happens from time to time, and at stages I've got to get better at catching myself doing it. I know when I'm at my worst, unfortunately, Brandon's one of those guys, he’s really close to me, that cops it the most."
Ellis is one of five restricted free agents this season alongside Greater Western Sydney's Stephen Coniglio, Gold Coast's Sam Day, Adelaide's Sam Jacobs and St Kilda's Jack Newnes.