List Mgmt. The 13 biggest AFL free agents in 2020

THE THIN MAN

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Jan 7, 2010
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A swag of genuine superstars of the game can become free agents at the end of season 2020. Will they re-sign with their clubs or move on in search of new opportunities. Jay Clark runs the rule over the 13 best.

Will they stay or will they go.
So many key players could test the market at the end of next season if they choose not to sign new deals with their clubs.

Jay Clark eyes the 13 biggest and what the future might hold.

1. BRODIE GRUNDY (COLL)
No other ruckman in the game is averaging 21 disposals and 43 hit-outs a game. One of the most influential players in the competition over the past two seasons. But the Pies’ salary cap is already maxed out.

2. JEREMY CAMERON (GWS)
He’s the dream acquisition for Geelong and Essendon but all indicators suggest he’s happy fishing on the Parramatta River. One of the highest-paid players in the league next season on a heavily back-ended deal. Will need a pay cut to stay.

3. LACHIE WHITFIELD (GWS)
The smoothest-moving midfielder in the game, Whitfield is the next obvious target for North Melbourne. Worth the best part of $1 million like Josh Kelly and Stephen Coniglio, but can the Giants fit them all in?

Will the Giants’ salary cap force Lachie Whitfield to seek opportunities elsewhere? Picture: Getty Images

Will the Giants’ salary cap force Lachie Whitfield to seek opportunities elsewhere? Picture: Getty Images

4. JOE DANIHER (ESS)
Sydney will come again after failing to go hard enough for Daniher in this year’s trade period. Essendon say the spearhead will fire for them in 2020, but it’s probably his last year in red and black.

5. BRAD CROUCH (ADE)
Stamped himself as an elite midfielder winning the Crows’ best and fairest this year. But Victorian rivals are already sniffing in expectation he will look around. Gold Coast interested, too.

6. ZAC WILLIAMS (GWS)
Played one of the best games of his career in the midfield to fire the injury-hit Giants to a shock win over Collingwood in the preliminary final. Has the x-factor.

Zac Williams has become a key cog for the Giants. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Zac Williams has become a key cog for the Giants. Picture: Phil Hillyard

7. ANDREW GAFF (WC)
Has an out clause in his contract which makes him a free agent, despite signing the big deal with West Coast after he missed the 2018 premiership. While he admitted he lost sleep over the decision, Gaff struck when the iron was hottest.

8. SCOTT PENDLEBURY (COLL)
Was runner-up in the best and fairest this year – the 11th time he has finished top-three. Still one of the top ball-users and most consistent performers in the game entering his 15th season.

9. MITCH DUNCAN (GEE)
West Australian clubs have had a regular crack at Duncan but he has continually rebuffed their offers. Think the Cats will work hard to lock him away after losing Tim Kelly.

Tim Kelly might have gone home, but Mitch Duncan has so-far knocked back overtures from WA clubs. Picture: AFL Photos

Tim Kelly might have gone home, but Mitch Duncan has so-far knocked back overtures from WA clubs. Picture: AFL Photos

10. DYSON HEPPELL (ESS)
Been such an important figure at Essendon. Curbed by a foot injury this year, expect him to sign another two-year deal without much fuss. But clubs will come in 2022.

11. TRAVIS BOAK (PA)
Back to his best this year in the midfield. Geelong will always ask the question if he’s keen to return home but he’s happy over there and been very loyal.

12. ROBBIE GRAY (PA)
Already said he’s keen to stay at Port Adelaide for the remainder of his career. Still a destructive forward at ground level.

Port star Robbie Gray says he is going nowhere. Picture: Getty Images

Port star Robbie Gray says he is going nowhere. Picture: Getty Images

13. JACK VINEY (MEL)
The balance in the Melbourne midfield is the big question. Can they have Clayton Oliver, Jack Viney and Angus Brayshaw? Been down with his foot troubles, but a full pre-season should help Viney return to his best. Dees will back him in.

 

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