The latest on the Bombers attempt at a double free agency strike, North’s options if Todd Goldstein departs, how a Crow can unite with his brother and more trade news here.
5 min read
September 20, 2023 - 6:00AM
News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom
AFL: Kangaroos defender Ben McKay is rumoured to have been offered a 7-year deal by a potential suitor.
St Kilda will be prepared to match a free agency bid from Essendon on Jade Gresham depending on how much the Bombers are prepared to pay him and the compensation pick it triggers.
The Bombers are circling Gresham as well as North Melbourne stopper Ben McKay as part of a double free agency strike to help lift Essendon for next season.
The Saints are keeping their options open on Gresham to see whether a move to Essendon could deliver the Saints a second-round compensation pick.
Out-of-contract defender Nick Coffield, who finished fifth in the 2020 best and fairest but has not played a senior game over the past two seasons, has also attracted interest from Western Bulldogs.
If Coffield remains at St Kilda it would be on a considerable pay cut given his nightmare run of injuries in recent years.
Jade Gresham (pictured) and Nick Coffield could be on the move. Picture: Getty Images
Saints’ list manager Stephen Silvagni is keen to recalibrate the club’s salary cap following a series of big-money moves to attract mid-tier players and retain some high draft picks.
Gresham, 26, is one of the highest paid players at the Saints but was used in a mainly forward role this season, kicking 21 goals from 23 games.
While McKay is yet to make a decision on his future, the Saints are prepared to wait on Gresham’s future until the free agency window opens on Friday October 6.
The Bombers have about $2 million in salary cap room to spend on talent if they wish including a new key defender to bolster the defence and a ready-made livewire midfield-forward to hit the scoreboard.
Essendon coach Brad Scott is keen to explore the free agency market to add more talent at the Bombers without sacrificing their top draft pick (eight).
The Saints wanted to bank more early draft picks this year, but crashed through to the finals in the first year under Ross Lyon, meaning their first pick is further back than many expected at No. 12.
But that could fall past pick 15 due to the three stand-out academy players Gold Coast will take in the first round, shuffling clubs back in the draft order.
It means the Saints could be open to a Gresham move if it can land the club another top-25 draft choice.
The club is keen to add more top-end young talent to add to the wave of a-grade youngsters including Mattaes Phillipou, Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera, Mitch Owens and Marcus Windhager.
The Roos might find themselves needing to find a replacement for Todd Goldstein in 2024. Picture: Getty Images
ROOS LOOK FOR RUCK BACK-UP
North Melbourne is on the hunt for a ready-made ruckman in the trade period, fearing it is likely to lose 300-game big man Todd Goldstein.
Goldstein, 35 is weighing up a number of options, including an offer to join his former coach Brad Scott at Essendon.
The prospect of any two-year offer would be tempting for Goldstein as the veteran ruckman believes he still has good footy left in him following another consistent season.