AFL free agency opens today, with unrestricted free agents able to find new homes immediately, and offers to be handed out for restricted free agents.
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HAWK TO SWITCH SIDES IN HEATED RIVALRY
Isaac Smith has chosen Geelong as his new home, reports the Herald Sun’s Jay Clark.
The triple premiership wingman was weighing up a move to Hawthorn’s rivals with Foxfooty.com.au’s Tom Morris reporting yesterday the Cats were in the box seat after a late push from coach Chris Scott.
Smith is expected to sign a two-year deal at the Cattery as an unrestricted free agent over a two-year deal at Hawthorn and a three-year offer from Melbourne, all on roughly the same money.
The Smith deal is likely to delay Kyle Hartigan’s looming move from Adelaide, however.
If Smith officially leaves, the Hawks will consider trading for Hartigan, as to not negatively impact the free agency compensation they receive for the triple premiership wingman.
HOGAN COULD HEAD TO THE GIANTS
GWS footy boss Jason McCartney has confirmed the club is doing due diligence on Fremantle forward Jesse Hogan.
Despite being contracted, Hogan has ben put up for trade with rival clubs beginning to show some preliminary interest.
With the Giants on the hunt for a potential key forward to replace Jeremy Cameron, McCartney confirmed Hogan is one such name being looked at.
“Jesse’s a player who is contracted. He’s one of a number of players that we are doing a lot of investigation work around. With any player you need to get as much information as possible,” he said on AFL Trade Radio.
The Giants have a number of free agents leaving the club with McCartney believing the offers for Aidan Corr, Zac Williams and Jeremy Cameron could be placed as early as Friday.
“The three clubs will lodge the actual contract offers for those players which the AFL will send down to me… then try and get some guidance to help shape the decision making,” he said.
“What the length of the offer, value of offer and maybe the compensation pick will be if we went down that path.
“These boys were can match the offer and go to a trade scenario.”
McCartney confirmed the club would be looking for more than just draft picks in a potential deal for Cameron, with GWS likely to match a free agency offer.
“We know each year how we structure things, we always do get a nice hand of picks at the draft. We will need to balance out our list profile,” he said.
“Having seven or eight players coming through the draft is not the ideal scenario. Just trying to balance that out with mature talent that helps the list.”
“Tom’s one that has been mentioned in the media. At this point in time it hasn’t had a lot of airtime in our discussions. There will be a number of things we consider.”
“Very good player Adam. We haven’t ruled out anything. Just understand the landscape, you have to be realistic. It’s not as easy as the player being available, to go and get them. Especially when they are contracted.”
“He’s exploring his options. We’ve had really good dialogue with the West Coast Eagles. We’ll get something done there. This year he was starved of the opportunities. He came forward and his management. He’s a quality young man. We understand the opportunity and lure of playing football back home. Something will get done there.”
“Brody is one that gets discussed a lot because the recruiting time would talk about him. What a fantastic story. He just works and presents. It’s probably one that he’ll be a Collingwood player.”
WHO’LL MAKE THE FIRST MOVE?
Expect a number of teams to get their offers in quickly as unrestricted and restricted free agents look to find new homes from this morning.
Geelong’s offer for GWS forward Jeremy Cameron is expected to come early, potentially even today, given how complicated the eventual trade is expected to be – plus the likelihood the Giants will become the first team to ever match a bid for their restricted free agent.
Likewise Brisbane could quickly hand in its contract for Essendon’s Joe Daniher, with reports suggesting both teams think it’s hefty enough to warrant a first-round compensation pick.
There’s also Carlton’s move for GWS halfback-midfielder Zac Williams, which should get done quite early, while St Kilda’s bid for Adelaide midfielder Brad Crouch could come on Friday but both teams have concerns around free agency compensation.
The Crows won’t know whether they’ll receive a first-round pick for Crouch, which would fall at Pick 2, or an end-of-first-round selection – the latter of which may see them match the Saints’ offer and force a trade.
Other free agents who could move quickly include Rory Atkins (Adelaide to Gold Coast) and Aidan Corr (GWS to North Melbourne).
A move has happened on the first day of free agency in each of the past three years – Jackson Trengove walking to the Bulldogs (2017), Reece Conca’s switch to Fremantle (2018) and Gold Coast’s offer for Brandon Ellis (2019).
READ MORE: The trade dominoes that must fall first to unlock frantic fortnight
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