Essendon fans can now add star midfielder Andrew McGrath to their list of things to worry about after a new report about his future.
Essendon star Andrew McGrath has reportedly made a call to postpone contract negotiations as the Bombers’ season continues to get worse and worse.
The proud club is reeling at 16th on the AFL ladder, and fingers are being pointed at coach Ben Rutten, long-time list boss Adrian Dodoro and the club’s “selfish” midfield.
The Bombers, who have now slumped to a 1-6 record, have been arguably the biggest disappointment of the 2022 season after the club reached the finals last year.
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The latest news on McGrath shows Essendon’s performances are beginning to potentially impact on their roster management.
McGrath is out of contract at the end of 2022.
The 23-year-old, who was the 2016 number one draft pick and 2017 Rising Star Award winner, was a very high profile retention win for the Bombers when he re-signed with the club during its disastrous 2020 Trade Period where a number of stars, including Joe Daniher, walked out on the club.
Channel 7 journalist Tom Browne reported on Monday McGrath has made the decision to delay talks until the second half of the season.
“Essendon’s woes are already starting to impact their recontracting,” Browne said on 7News.
“There is no rush from the McGrath camp.”
Browne said McGrath remains a potential future captain at Essendon and said it is still likely he will remain with the club.
It is a similar situation for dumped midfielder Dylan Shiel after Browne revealed at least one club is monitoring his position at Essendon as a potential trade scenario.
The star midfielder was a late inclusion for Essendon in their 32-point loss to the Western Bulldogs on Sunday after coach Ben Rutten initially sent him to play in the VFL last weekend.
The former Giants star’s future is suddenly unsettled despite being in the middle of a monster six-year deal, reported to be worth around $4.8 million.
It has now been reported at least one club is monitoring Shiel’s situation at Essendon — five months before the 2022 AFL Trade Period.
Browne has told Triple M at least one “prominent club” is keeping a close eye on Shiel’s situation.
“Will other clubs look at Shiel? Well they will if Essendon want to trade him at the end of the year,” he said.
“It’s too early to discuss that at the moment. But I know that at least one prominent club I’ve spoken to that Shiel at least offensively is a good player. So if the Bombers wanted to pay some of his salary at the end of the year and give him up for a second round pick, I’m sure there are clubs that would potentially be interested.
“It’s too early to discuss that at the moment, but I can report at least one prominent club is keeping a close eye on the Dylan Shiel situation. As we know, at his best he is a particularly good player.”