Maybe the mods can put this in the Paddy thread which is now locked, if it is better there, but I thought this was a very fair* and positive summary of the outcome.
* Fair after the usual flogging setting the scene.
Somewhat surprisingly, given the year that has been, Essendon did not end up in court. In the end Essendon did the deal: Paddy Ryder has docked at Port.
And, although it might not feel it for some at Essendon, it is a good deal.
In good conscience the Bombers could not keep Ryder. Why? Well firstly because even they would privately admit that the player would have had a fairly compelling legal case when he told a judge "my employer gave me some stuff then told me it might affect my unborn child". That would run pretty hard in court.
But put aside the legalities, they could not keep him because none of the clubs kept them. None of the clubs kept the contracted player â€“ captains, stars, first draft picks among them â€“ who said they wanted out.
Peter Gordon might have torn up one contract, dangled another in front of the contracted Tom Lonergan and then opined that "a contract is a contract" in asserting he would keep his captain but in the end he moved Ryan Griffen.
And Collingwood moved Dayne Beams, and Heritier Lumumba. And GWS offed Tom Boyd and, yes, Essendon moved Ryder.
All the players had their reasons: Beams wanted to be near a sick dad, play with his brother and get a hefty pay rise; Griffen wanted to flee the captaincy and a horrible year of the Dogs; Allen Christensen had his personal need for a parachute; Collingwood pushed Lumumba towards the door not the other way around; and Boyd? His nine games meant he had just millions of reasons to go.
So Ryder was traded for pick 17 and Adam Cooney. That deal only became a serious chance and then a reality once it became 17 and Cooney â€“ not just 17 and anonymous pick 37. Once a face was put to No. 37 it happened.
Privately Essendon would admit Cooney was their gift to the players.
He might have a grumbly knee but he still has the occasional sharp turn of pace and a Brownlow medallist's rare nous for playing the game.
He was the player they brought into the club and so were able to look in the eyes of those players who stuck with them through the awful last few years and say "we are not rebuilding with picks ... we don't intend to go backwards ... we owe it to you to not go backwards". Having been banned from drafts through AFL punishment the Bombers might have opted to chase draft picks alone once it was apparent Ryder was gone but, like last year, they have chased a blend of picks and ready to go players.
The AFL punishments meant Essendon lost its first two rounds of draft picks last year and this year (but was given one end of first round pick in this year's draft).
The Bombers have kept that pick and in each of the drafts managed to trade for extra early picks and get experienced players.
This year it was pick 17 (to go with their pick 20) and Cooney comes along with Giants giant Jonathon Giles, who is a mature but cut-priced version of Paddy Ryder who will slot to into Ryder's role.
Last year it was Stewart Crameri who went out and and they brought in a draft pick that delivered them Zach Merrett and they picked up Paul Chapman with the cash they had.
They squeezed something out of the rookie draft with Paddy Ambrose to fill the Crameri role.
Importantly this year Ryder was the only player to jettison the club. The Bombers did not end up losing Elliott Kavanagh, they re-signed Ben Howlett and Martin Gleeson and they successfully massaged the thinking of Jason Winderlich from retired, to OK I'll play on, trade me to Richmond, to all right I'll stay at Essendon then.
At least they know they are keeping a decisive player.
Thus the Bombers have so far managed to get through their AFL draft punishments not completely unscathed but not carrying the scars and lumps they feared. The sorts of draft licks Carlton is still recovering from and Adelaide are only just emerging out of.