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.
DEAL IN THE WORKS FOR GRUNDY
COLLINGWOOD will push for a top-25 pick for ruckman Brodie Grundy, whose move from the Magpies to Melbourne is growing closer.
The Demons have been Grundy's tipped landing spot for weeks as Collingwood considered a trade for the big man, who has five years left to run on his deal.
Magpies football boss Graham Wright on Monday confirmed on Continental Tyres AFL Trade Radio that he expected Grundy to head to the Demons, who have targeted him in the back half of the year after it became clear Luke Jackson would be seeking a trade back to Western Australia.
A selection early in the second round is likely to pave the way for Grundy's move from the Pies to the Demons, where he will partner fellow All-Australian Max Gawn in a two-headed ruck department.
Collingwood is expected to pay a meaningful portion of the remaining five years of Grundy's contract, but when the Grundy trade is completed could also depend on what the Demons get back for Jackson.
INDICATIVE DRAFT ORDER Every club's hand as it stands
There was no movement on Jackson's trade to Fremantle as the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period opened officially on Monday at Marvel Stadium. The Dockers have offered pick 13 and a future first-round pick but, as revealed by AFL.com.au last week, the Demons are keen on one of the first-round selections to be inside the first seven picks.
A deal for Blake Acres' move from Fremantle to Carlton is expected to be cleared on Tuesday, while Hawthorn remains keen to lure contracted Dockers ruckman Lloyd Meek to the club. The Dockers are likely to push for a second-round selection to do a deal, with the Hawks' offer expected to be a third-rounder. – Callum Twomey
BOWES NEARING DECISION
JACK Bowes will complete his due diligence on his number of suitors over the next 24 hours as the Gold Coast midfielder grows closer to a decision on where he wants to play next season.
Bowes has met with a number of clubs who are keen to land him, including Geelong, Hawthorn, Essendon, North Melbourne and Brisbane, and will come to a call on his future early this week.
The 24-year-old is working through which clubs are most interested in him as a player, rather than the teams who are more interested in the pick No.7, which the Suns have attached to the deal for the club to take on the heavily back-ended next two years of his contract.
As AFL.com.au revealed last month, Bowes is likely to sign a four-year deal wherever he joins, with the Suns expected to get a future second selection in return.
Brad Scott met with Bowes in his first official day as Essendon coach and he has also met with Hawks coach Sam Mitchell and Geelong's contingent, with the Cats' strong interest in him as a player.
TRADE HUB All the latest player movement news
Bowes had an injury-hit 2022 campaign with shoulder surgery and has been used off half-back but is keen to play as a taller midfielder. – Callum Twomey
JONES SET FOR DOGS RETURN
LIAM Jones is set to rejoin the AFL, and the Western Bulldogs, on Tuesday with the club expected to lodge paperwork for his free agency signing.
Jones quit Carlton before this season due to his COVID-19 vaccination stance but the Dogs have secured him to bolster their defence and will sign him as a free agent.
An uncertainty on Zaine Cordy's future as a free agent meant for a wait on Monday, with potential dilution of free agency compensation if Cordy departed for a rival club, but the Dogs are tipped to proceed with the Jones move on Tuesday.
Cordy has a two-year offer from the Bulldogs, but the unrestricted free agent hasn't signed it, with the backman catching links to St Kilda.
The Dogs' addition of Jones would trigger a compensation pick for Carlton, who will then have a clearer view of their draft hand before securing Blake Acres. – Callum Twomey
SWANS OPTIMISTIC ON FREE AGENT
SYDNEY remains hopeful free agent Harry Cunningham will remain at the club.
As flagged in AFL.com.au's Inside Trading back in August, the Swans have tabled Cunningham an offer to extend his 161-game stint in the red and white despite a season in which he struggled to return to the team after a mid-year abdominal injury.
Cunningham, who didn't feature for the grand finalists after an appearance as an unused medical substitute in round 18, is yet to agree to the offer that has been presented. But Sydney football boss Charlie Gardiner still believes he will re-commit.
"We're hopeful he will (re-sign)," Gardiner told AFL.com.au's Trade Exchange on Monday.
"Harry's been an important part of our squad for a number of years. He's been a bit unlucky this year due to injury and the fact we had very few changes to the squad in the back-half of the season.
"We're optimistic that we'll get something done. We're in talks with his management, so hopefully they'll progress over the next week or two." – Riley Beveridge
SHARP TALKS CONTINUE
FREMANTLE is best placed to trade in Gold Coast midfielder Jeremy Sharp but discussions will continue on a deal.
The 21-year-old Sun is contracted for next year but open to a move back to Western Australia, with the Dockers and Eagles both showing interest but Fremantle favourites.
There have been talks between the Suns and Dockers on a trade for Sharp but the Suns have made clear they would need a strong selection to part with him.
Sharp played 12 games for the Suns this year for a career total of 23, with the Dockers also keen on Gold Coast forward Josh Corbett, who is also weighing interest from Essendon and Melbourne. – Callum Twomey
CLUBS ASK ABOUT HAWKS' PICK
HAWTHORN has fielded enquiries about its lucrative No.6 draft pick, but is unlikely to part with the early selection.
The Hawks have recruited Denver Grainger-Barras and Josh Ward with successive top-10 picks over the past two seasons and are keen to retain another early selection this year, despite the efforts of rival clubs to prise the draft choice away.
Teams have enquired about the prospect of moving up to pick No.6, although Hawthorn's focus is set on securing another blue-chip draft prospect to pair with free agent signing Karl Amon from Port Adelaide.
DRAFT HUB Click here for the latest draft news
"I think there's plenty of options to go at that pick No.6 at this point," Hawks list and recruiting manager Mark McKenzie told AFL.com.au's Trade Exchange on Monday.
"We'll look to take around four picks. We think there's strength at the top, with some depth as well. From our point of view, it's not necessarily positional. We'll look at the talent and not overcomplicate it too much.
"There have been some enquiries about pick No.6, but at this point in time we'd look at taking that (to the draft). There are a number of players there that can help us, so we're excited to get into the draft in a couple of months' time." – Riley Beveridge
SAINTS PAIR FACE UNCERTAIN WAIT
TWO players at Moorabbin are currently in limbo on the opening day of the trade period.
Young midfielder Jack Bytel and defender Jarrod Lienert are without a deal for next year and are waiting to see where things fall.
With four players retiring – Dan Hannebery, Jarryn Geary, Paddy Ryder and Dean Kent – Darragh Joyce is the only confirmed delisting at this stage.
Bytel played 13 games last year for a total of 16 across his first two seasons, but didn't add to that total in 2022, despite strong form for Sandringham in the VFL.
It is understood that the 21-year-old has attracted some interest from other clubs, but is still hopeful of landing another deal at St Kilda.
Lienert played 11 games for Brett Ratten's side this year – the most in a single season across his five years in the AFL – after being added to the Saints' rookie list in March via the Pre-Season Supplemental Selection period.
The 28-year-old collected 20 disposals against Sydney in round 23, played four of the final five games, and played the best football of his AFL journey in 2022, but is considered unlikely to secure another deal for next year. – Josh Gabelich