Will the 2022 AFL Continental Trade and Free Agency Period see the biggest movement we’ve ever seen?

AFL

Now that the AFL premiership season is over, all eyes turn to the AFL Trade and Free Agency Periods with the Draft not far behind.

Over the next month, we will see players cross over to rival clubs for an array of reasons, with the feeling that there’s more than usual in 2022.

Given the last two season’s were impacted by COVID-19 and potentially delaying player movement, this year were back to normal and we expect a large number of deals to be done.

Since the introduction of Free Agency in 2012, it has offered players a new vehicle for movement aside from trade.

A total of 105 players have made use of the relatively new transfer method, including 29 in the first two years of its existence in the AFL.

Throughout the same period there has been 273 player trades, with the most coming in 2015 (37).

Heading into 2022’s Trade and Free Agency Periods, Collingwood’s Brodie Grundy and Melbourne’s Luke Jackson leads the charge for potential moves, despite the formers desire to stay at the Pies.

Grundy is early in his lucrative monster seven-year deal worth around $1 million a season and could be moved on to ease salary cap pressures.

Jackson is keen to head back to his home state, Western Australia, which could unlock a ruck domino effect that could see up to six big men find new homes in 2023.

Jordan De Goey is an interesting prospect, given he has reached restricted free agency and is un-contracted for 2023.

The Pies offered De Goey a five-year deal but has been initially rejected due to vague behavioural clauses.

Jack Gunston and Josh Dunkley look poised to make their way to Brisbane, while Izak Rankine will find himself in Adelaide colours.

Dan McStay is set to join Collingwood as a free agent, as will Karl Amon to Hawthorn.

GWS duo Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper have requested trades to Richmond, while a string of Fremantle players such as Blake Acres, Griffin Logue, Darcy Tucker, Lloyd Meek, Rory Lobb and Liam Henry are likely to find new homes.

According to SEN’s post, there is 59 players who have been linked with a trade to rival clubs while Fox Sports also expressed a similar number.

The likelihood that all reported interests will eventuate in player trades isn’t that high, but compared to years gone by, it boasts a much higher number.

Year Free Agency Player Trades Total moves
2021 10 15 25
2020 9 26 35
2019 10 26 36
2018 10 36 46
2017 8 25 33
2016 9 33 42
2015 8 37 45
2014 12 22 34
2013 15 25 40
2012 14 28 42

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