As we turn a page on this year’s trade period and look forward, the 2022 free agency pool is loaded with stars.
While the list is yet to be made official by the AFL, it’s never too early to cast ahead and identify the players who could potentially be on the move this time next year.
Some of the biggest names to feature include Brayden Maynard, Darcy Moore, Jordan De Goey, Touk Miller, James Sicily, Angus Brayshaw, Jayden Short, Kane Lambert, Tom Barrass, Bailey Dale, Caleb Daniel and Jack Macrae.
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THE TRADING DAY TEAM ANALYSES EVERY AFL CLUB’S TRADE PERIOD ON THEIR DEADLINE DAY SPECIAL – LISTEN BELOW OR SUBSCRIBE IN ITUNES OR SPOTIFY
Then there’s a host of players who you would expect to stay at their respective clubs or move into retirement, like Dayne Zorko, Jack Gunston, Joel Selwood, Jack Riewoldt and Dane Rampe, but remain an interesting watch.
The situation at Collingwood is perhaps most fascinating. After a year of significant change, the club now has three of its biggest stars in Maynard, Moore and De Goey all approaching free agency.
Magpies football boss Graham Wright has said the club will turn its attentention to locking away the trio on long-term deals after the trade period. But will the threesome be keen to spend the prime years of their careers at a club embarking on a rebuild?
Miller is coming off a career-best season for the Suns, averaging career-highs across the board in disposals (31.8), marks (4.5), tackles (7.1), inside 50s (4.3) and clearances (5.7) from 21 games.
But rivals shouldn’t get too excited about the prospect of snaring him, with senior foxfooty.com.au reporter Tom Morris revealing last month Miller is in deep negotiations with the Suns on a long-term extension.
Two of Richmond’s premiership stars in Short and Lambert also loom as key names to keep an eye on, while veterans Riewoldt, Trent Cotchin and Shane Edwards will be unrestricted free agents.
We know the Tigers’ salary cap is tight, and should the club have another disappointing season, could Short or Lambert look to move elsewhere?
The Swans have several big names entering free agency in Rampe, Isaac Heeney, Lance Franklin, Jake Lloyd and Josh Kennedy.
Sydney’s own salary cap problems have been well documented and played a part in it allowing George Hewett to walk to Carlton as a free agent.
Therefore how the Swans manage their list will be intriguing after the club’s rise in 2021 behind the development of their next wave of stars.
Sydney could yet make another play for premiership Eagle Tom Barrass after lodging an inquiry into him last week, one that was knocked over quickly by West Coast.
Joining Barrass in West Coast’s free agency pool is Nic Naitanui and Luke Shuey.
While you wouldn’t expect any of the Western Bulldogs’ stars to depart in what looms as an exciting period of flag contention for the club, some big names can enter free agency in Daniel, Macrae and breakout 2021 All-Australian Bailey Dale.
Check out the full list of 2022 free agents below.
2022 FREE AGENTS
*Restricted free agent
Jordan De Goey*
GOLD COAST SUNS
WEST COAST EAGLES