ADELAIDE allowed emotions from losing the Grand Final to spill into contract talks with Jake Lever, Crows coach Don Pyke says.
Lever walked out of the Crows two days after they lost last year's Grand Final and was later traded to Melbourne.
The 21-year-old's departure was mired in controversy when Lever was asked not to attend Adelaide's club champion award - a function which happened before a trade was brokered.
Pyke says the Crows learned some lessons from Lever's exit.
"I think some of the learnings would be, and I'm not going to go into details, but some would be around potentially our negotiation and how we went about it," Pyke said on Tuesday.
"I think the emotion following the Grand Final was real, as you can imagine.
"And I think some of that emotion from the Grand Final rolled out into maybe how we dealt with some of it."
Adelaide captain Taylor Walker admitted to having a "blunt" conversation with Lever after the defender requested a trade.
And there were unsubstantiated allegations that a core of senior Crows players asked Pyke not to select Lever for the Grand Final, believing the defender wanted out of the club.
But Pyke himself saw no evidence Lever had made up his mind to leave before the season decider.
"I was comfortable with Jake," Pyke said.
"... The thing you're looking for from a coaching view point is lack of engagement.
"I had absolutely no problem that he was fully engaged in what we were trying to achieve.
"At the end of that game on Grand Final day, he shared the disappointment with the entire group completely because he was fully invested.
"He hadn't already decided he was going, he'd left and he'd already checked out - he was still with us."
Pyke said Lever's negotiations with the Crows were complicated by "opposing forces, which is other footy clubs", a comment backed by Crows chief executive Andrew Fagan.
"Most of the time, you want to start a negotiation with a view to finishing it," Fagan said on Tuesday.
"And sometimes, that gets blurry with how you get from point A to point B.
"And that (Lever) negotiation probably is a really good example of that, where you start with a view of finishing it and then where the goalposts were, were really hard to work our way through.
"With hindsight, that might have been one we deal with differently but we there were circumstances which made it complex for us."