Brendon Goddard remains a potential free agent with several clubs rumoured to be interested in landing the star Saint
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AFL LOWDOWN: We analyse the position of all 18 clubs as the AFL heads into its first free agency period...
How free agency works
Unrestricted: Chris Knights
Who they could lose: Knights has only played five games this year and would benefit from a move elsewhere. Melbourne and Richmond are both believed to have shown interest in the 25-year-old Victorian.
What they need: A tall marking target to replace Kurt Tippett if the forward returns to Queensland as expected. Travis Cloke has been approached but is unlikely to consider Adelaide as his next destination. Brendon Goddard could be a viable target for the Crows, or Angus Monfries.
Restricted: Josh Drummond (since retired)
Unrestricted: Simon Black (since re-signed), Ash McGrath
Who they could lose: If you believe there is no smoke without fire, then the fact the Lions issued a press release last week, explaining that Black was a required player, may suggest he might be vulnerable. Aside from that, they don't look like losing any of their free agents.
What they need: They could definitely do with someone up forward to share the load with Brown, especially seeing as Aaron Cornelius appears to be on the outer with Michael Voss. Defenders will also be highly sought after with Daniel Merrett playing most of his footy forward this year.
Restricted: Heath Scotland (since re-signed)
Unrestricted: Jordan Russell, Bret Thornton
Who they could lose: Russell will most likely be shopped around after apparently falling out of favour at Visy Park. Thornton may also attract some interest but is less likely to be considered expendable. Scotland has indicated he wants to remain with the Blues.
What they need: Carlton are one of the main players for Travis Cloke's services and the likely appointment of Mick Malthouse would certainly sweeten the deal. The Blues could also use a key back to go with their key forward, although a move for Brendon Goddard was ruled out by the club's hierarchy after Brett Ratten was sacked. Pies backman Ben Johnson may be a candidate.
Restricted: Travis Cloke, Harry O'Brien (both since re-signed)
Unrestricted: Ben Johnson
Who they could lose: Magpies fans may be shocked to learn that Cloke is out of contract and mulling a move elsewhere. Carlton seems to be the most likely destination for the full forward, though Fremantle, Melbourne and GWS are also making big plays for his services. Johnson will probably attract interest from a few rival Victorian clubs looking to top up their lists, but O'Brien is expected to re-sign.
What they need: Given Cloke's likely departure, Chris Dawes' loss of form and Chris Tarrant's retirement, the Magpies could use a key forward and a rumoured to have made an approach to Quinten Lynch. A ruckman to support Darren Jolly is also a necessity; Will Minson and David Hille are the most likely free agency targets.
Restricted: Angus Monfries
Unrestricted: Ricky Dyson, Dustin Fletcher, David Hille, Nathan Lovett-Murray, Henry Slattery
Who they could lose: Hille has struggled for regular game time this year when both Paddy Ryder and Tom Bellchambers have been fit and rumours have him seeking another club. The only other question is whether Fletcher plays on for a 21st season, which he has indicated he wants to do.
What they need: The most pressing need for the Bombers is another midfielder to help Jobe Watson. They are reportedly in the market for Josh Caddy again, but if they fail again they could perhaps look at Brent Moloney.
Unrestricted: Luke McPharlin
Who they could lose: McPharlin joins the long list of players in recent times that have put off contract negotiations until the end of the year. While this is normally a sign a player is leaving, McPharlin insists he has always conducted his negotiations this way.
What they need: The Dockers loom as the big players for free agents this season. They have reportedly upped their offer to Travis Cloke to $1.1m a season and if they don't land the Magpie, they are rumoured to be looking at reuniting Brendon Goddard with Ross Lyon.
Unrestricted: Shannon Byrnes, Paul Chapman (since re-signed), Corey Enright (since re-signed), Josh Hunt, Steve Johnson (since re-signed), Matthew Scarlett (since retired), David Wojcinski (since retired)
Who they could lose: Byrnes has struggled for games under Chris Scott. He has pace and knows where the goals are, and could be a handy pick-up for a club that needs an injection of experience. Chapman is still negotiating his next contract - he reportedly wants two years - but he is long odds to actually leave. The others will all either retire or stay.
What they need: The Cats' ageing midfield could do with a boost but there are precious few midfielders of the quality they seek. Moloney has already had a stint at Geelong and it's unlikely he would return. There are rumours they are interested in Demon defender Jared Rivers to shore up their tall stocks down back.
Who they could lose: No one under free agency terms.
What they need: The Suns will be keen on height of all types but they will be stretched for cash to cover any major acquisitions under free agency, with their efforts reportedly focused on Kurt Tippett. Fraser's retirement leaves them short of experienced rucks and Zac Smith has suffered second-year blues. Will Minson is an attractive prospect.
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
Who they could lose: No one under free agency terms.
What they need: The Giants have a more well-balanced list than the Suns and list manager Steve Silvagni has indicated they will focus on retaining the core of their talented youngsters at the expense of any high-priced recruits. Will Minson still looms as an attractive ruck option should Dean Brogan opt against a second season in Sydney. GWS still have the option to take several uncontracted players at the end of this season and it appears they will expend most of their energy there.
Unrestricted: Chance Bateman (since retired), Tom Murphy, Michael Osborne, Clinton Young
Who they could lose: Bateman is set to retire and a serious knee injury has slashed Osborne's value to other clubs. Murphy could appeal to a club seeking a versatile mid-sized defender while Young's long kicking and pace should attract plenty of interest. He has re-established himself in the Hawks' best 22, though, and would likely be keen to stay.
What they need: Key defenders have long been a need at Waverley and the Hawks are rumoured to be sniffing around Melbourne's Jared Rivers. Otherwise, the list looks well balanced in terms of age and positions. They won't have heaps of money to spend so big-name targets like Goddard appear off-limits.
Restricted: Brent Moloney
Unrestricted: Matthew Bate, Lynden Dunn, Jared Rivers
Who they could lose: Moloney is a confirmed out and several clubs, headed by Port Adelaide and Sydney, are seeking his services. Rivers is also said to be weighing up offers from Geelong and Hawthorn versus remaining a key part of Melbourne's defence.
What they need: What don't they need? Coach Mark Neeld hosed down reports the Dees had made a $1m per year offer to Cloke but there's no doubting the Pie would be a great fit. Brendon Goddard would also add some top-end talent to a list desperately in need of it. Chris Knights, Clinton Young, and Steven Salopek would also be automatic best 22 selections. Quinten Lynch would also be handy as a big body down forward. Expect the Demons to be major players as they have cash to burn.
Unrestricted: Michael Firrito
Who they could lose: It's unlikely the Roos will lose anyone, with Firrito of limited appeal to opposition clubs and keen to stay at Arden Street, regardless.
What they need: North has a pretty well-balanced list at the minute. They are in the market for Travis Boak, but this has less to do with filling holes in their midfield and more to do with Boak's manager shopping around for the highest bidder.
Restricted: Troy Chaplin, Danyle Pearce
Unrestricted: Brett Ebert, Steven Salopek, Jacob Surjan
Who they could lose: Chaplin has reportedly been offered a four-year deal by Richmond. Salopek appears certain to be headed back to Victoria and Pearce could be an attractive option for any sides looking to add pace to their midfield.
What they need: If Port Adelaide do lose Travis Boak and Salopek or Pearce join the Alberton exodus, they will have serious holes that need plugging in their midfield. Melbourne's Brent Moloney is rumoured to be the one they are after.
Restricted: Luke McGuane
Unrestricted: Shane Tuck (since re-signed)
Who they could lose: Tuck has almost certainly played himself into a new deal at Punt Rd, having been declared a "required player" by Damien Hardwick. McGuane's status is less certain, and the 25-year-old may attract interest from rival clubs looking for a versatile tall.
What they need: The Tigers are on the lookout for more experience this off-season with Troy Chaplin, Chris Knights and Jordan Russell all in the mix. Key defender Chaplin is already packing his bags for Tigerland if persistent rumours are to be believed, while Russell would fit right in alongside ex-Blues teammate Shaun Grigg.
Restricted: Brendon Goddard, Jason Gram
Unrestricted: Jason Blake, Raph Clarke, Justin Koschitzke
Who they could lose: Goddard is the subject of interest from a number of different clubs and looks less and less likely to remain at the Saints with each passing day. His departure would free up space in the salary cap, perhaps ensuring that St Kilda aren't 'gutted' by other clubs as was once feared.
What they need: Scott Watters has already outlined St Kilda's plan to bolster their backline with key defenders in the off season, and there are a number on the market. Chaplin would be the most obvious candidate. The Saints could also use a ruckman to back up Ben McEvoy, with Will Minson and David Hille the cream of the free agency crop.
Unrestricted: Jude Bolton, Jarred Moore
Who they could lose: Moore hasn't pulled on a guernsey this season and will most likely seek greater opportunities elsewhere - if he can find them. It's highly unlikely that Bolton will do anything other than re-sign (or retire) with the Swans.
What they need: Not a lot, to be honest. The Swans are fairly solid all over the ground and will most likely recruit for depth in the off-season. A key forward to assist Sam Reid would be ideal but the pickings are slim among free agents (assuming neither Travis Cloke nor Kurt Tippett is interested in a move to the harbour city). There are suggestions John Longmire is keen on exploring Moloney as a clearance specialist.
Unrestricted: Will Minson
Who they could lose: The Dogs are fairly safe from poachers this season. GWS and Collingwood have both expressed an interest in Minson, who has had an outstanding year, if you ignore his club-imposed suspension for sledging and the Kieren Jack stomping incident.
What they need: The Bulldogs are in dire need of a key forward - or any goal-scoring forwards at all, for that matter - but they have pretty much already indicated they are more interested in developing their kids than chasing talent from other clubs.
Unrestricted: Andrew Embley (since re-signed), Quinten Lynch, Mark Nicoski
Who they could lose: Lynch is still out of contract and his combination of size and athleticism would appeal to several clubs looking for a target up forward to crash packs. Embley's age and an injury-interrupted year has counted against him finding a new club, while Nicoski should remain an Eagle despite a lost 2012 to injury.
What they need: Not much. A successful revamp under Worsfold means the Eagles have a good spread of age and talent. Expect West Coast to continue building through the draft rather than targeting other experienced players. Another ruckman could be handy if Lynch decides to leave but Minson will likely demand too high a price to leave the Bulldogs.
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