A last-minute trade is set to hand Mason Cox a reprieve at Collingwood.
Plus a veteran defender is off the market, leaving several clubs without an option.
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COX TO CASH IN ON RUCK TRADE
Collingwood is keen to sign up Mason Cox for 2022 following the exit of ruckman Max Lynch late in the trade period.
Lynch was traded to Hawthorn in the final move on Wednesday night, with a swap of late selections getting the deal across the line; it saw the Magpies upgrade a future fourth-round pick into a future third-round pick.
But the 23-year-old’s exit now means Cox, 31, is required.
He had been in limbo and willing to consider a contract at another club, with his manager Liam Pickering confirming Fremantle had interest in Cox, but only if they’d lost Rory Lobb to GWS in a mooted but eventually failed trade.
On Thursday, Magpies footy boss Graham Wright confirmed the club was in conversation with Pickering about a new deal for Cox.
“We’d like Mason to stay but that’s certainly up to him and he may have some options around that as well. But ‘Pickers’ and I had some conversations late yesterday. We’re hopeful but we’re mindful there could be others who have interest,” Wright said.
“We know he can play ruck and we know he can play as a forward.”
Without Lynch, the Magpies have only Cox behind starting ruckman Brodie Grundy, with Darcy Cameron able to pinch-hit in a forward-ruck role.
Those four plus defender Jordan Roughead were the only Collingwood players to record a hit-out in 2021.
Cox has played 76 AFL games since being taken as a rookie in 2014, playing a career-best 24 games in 2018 as he helped Collingwood make the Grand Final.
He played just seven senior games in 2021.
ALL-AUS VETERAN OFF THE MARKET
Former Adelaide defender Daniel Talia won’t be an option for AFL clubs in 2022 as he takes a year off for injury and family reasons.
The dual All-Australian didn’t play a game in 2021 due to a foot injury and was let go by the club, along with fellow veteran Tom Lynch, at the end of the season.
Talia was linked to clubs like Geelong and Richmond through the trade period as an option in delisted free agency, while St Kilda is also seeking defensive help.
While he spoke to the Tigers, they opted for North Melbourne’s Robbie Tarrant instead, and Talia’s manager Liam Pickering says he won’t be playing at all in 2022, due to a combination of further foot surgery and his family being keen to stay in Adelaide.
“Daniel, he won’t be playing next year. One: his family, they want to stay in Adelaide, he’s got two young kids under two, his wife’s an Adelaide girl,” Pickering told SEN Mornings.
“He did have a chat with Richmond and I think the Tigers felt the same thing, they felt it was going to be hard to get him over anyway.
“They also had concerns about his foot which they’ve got every right to have when we spoke to them straight after the season. They went with Robbie Tarrant, which is fine.
“He’s having trouble with a tendon in his foot. It’s still not much good. He’s going to have to go back and have some surgery. Talia won’t be playing next year.
“The foot has kept him out for a year and he’s been rehabbing it and trying to get it right, but it’s just not coming good … he’s had another setback with it.
“He’ll have to speak to his surgeon and see where it’s at. It’s just not getting any better.”
If Talia recovers and changes his mind, he could still be signed up if a pre-season supplemental selection period is held in 2022, or in a mid-season draft.
He has played 200 AFL games since being selected with the 13th pick in the 2009 draft. Talia was an All-Australian in 2014 and 2016, and a squad member in 2019.