I thought one thread to rule them all as far as KP forward discussion goes and could start with the following article even though it refers to Jack Watts as a spearhead.
THURSDAY was a bad day for teams in the market for an experienced spearhead with this year’s two most enticing out-of-contract targets, Josh Jenkins and Jack Watts, re-signing with their clubs on long-term deals.
As keen as the rival interest in Jenkins and Watts was – and the Brisbane Lions reportedly offered Jenkins up to $800,000 a season – it had seemed for some time a matter of when, not if, they recommitted to Adelaide and Melbourne respectively.
So rival suitors would not have been surprised by Thursday’s announcements Jenkins had recommitted to the Crows for five years and Watts to the Demons for three.
The question is who do these teams turn their attention to now?
With Watts officially out of this year’s free agency pool, Richmond forward/ruckman Tyrone Vickery is the only genuine spearhead left – one-club veterans Matthew Pavlich and Drew Petrie aside.
Vickery’s contract discussions with Richmond have moved slowly this year, but Tigers coach Damien Hardwick said on Thursday the tall was an “integral part” of the club’s on-field future.
That could change, of course, if a rival club puts a free agency offer to Vickery lucrative enough to earn Richmond a tempting compensation pick.
This year’s out-of-contract market has not only been diminished by Jenkins’ re-signing, with swingman Sam Day recommitting to Gold Coast last week.
Which leaves Mason Wood, Ben Griffiths, Shane Kersten and Levi Casboult as 2016’s most appealing targets.
Wood has attracted keen interest from several clubs believed to include Essendon, Fremantle and the Brisbane Lions, however his management company, Strategic, said last week the 22-year-old’s preference is to stay at Arden Street.
Similarly, Casboult is understood to be keen to re-sign with the Blues, and his manager, Anthony McConville, said recently he expected to ramp up talks with Carlton soon.
However, Griffiths has yet to start meaningful talks with Richmond and Kersten’s discussions with Geelong are moving slowly.
West Australian Kersten, who has been linked with Fremantle, is one of three key forwards out of contract at Geelong, along with Mitch Clark and Nathan Vardy.
Vardy, 25, has been plagued by injury in his seven seasons with the Cats but has hardly missed a game this year.
However, all bar one of those games have been in the VFL, so lack of opportunity could convince him to pursue interest from clubs believed to include the Western Bulldogs and Essendon.
Another out-of-contract forward who could chase greater senior opportunities elsewhere is Majak Daw, who sits behind Petrie, Jarrad Waite, Ben Brown and Wood in North Melbourne’s tall forward pecking order.
Giants youngster James Stewart has not played a senior game since round one – although he was named in Greater Western Sydney’s squad of 25 for Sunday’s clash against Port Adelaide – and is also likely to attract rival bids at trade time.
Port Adelaide spearhead John Butcher is set to play his first senior game this year this week but, at 25, his career appears at the crossroads.
And out-of-contract veterans Waite, Clark, Port’s Jay Schulz and Melbourne’s Chris Dawes seem likely to play on with their respective clubs or retire.
However, as we’ve seen in past trade periods, teams won’t limit their search to out-of-contract forwards.
Giant Adam Tomlinson has been widely linked to a return home to Victoria, with Carlton seen as his most likely destination, while Collingwood veteran Travis Cloke and North’s Aaron Black could also see brighter futures at new clubs.
And could someone make a play for forgotten Sydney Swan Sam Reid?
Like Cloke and Black, Reid is set to become a free agent at the end of 2017.
For mine, I really like Patton but would be over the moon if we could lure Wood here. Been treated a little as a second class citizen at Norf and ready to go.