AFTER the completion of the 2012 AFL season the league will be revolutionised by the introduction of free agency.
For eligible players this will give them the ability to leave their current club, bypassing the draft and trade periods, and essentially pick their next employer themselves. For the AFL, this will be an unprecedented change.
In the lead up to the introduction of free agency Football Nation is running a series of articles by guest writer Sam Mills that will focus on what free agency will do to your club at the end of the season.
The captain of Port Adelaide should remain at the club for a few years yet. He has had his injury worries but the 2004 Premiership player will be looking to add more games to his tally, currently at 196. Cassisi is an unrestricted free agent but is no threat of leaving the club.
Chaplin is a real possibility of moving. Pick 15 from the 2003 National draft has attracted some interest, mainly from Richmond despite rumours swirling that he had signed a new two-year contract. The restricted free agent has appealed to Richmond as a mentor to young cubs Dylan Grimes and Alex Rance. Port Adelaide are currently in negotiations with Chaplin however, and look to be favourites to re-sign him.
Son of Port Adelaide SANFL legend Russell, Brett Ebert would have to stay on at the club. His cousin Brad has of course joined him at Alberton and I can’t see the now unrestricted free agent leaving the club, despite Ebert playing only eight games so far this season. Will be staying at the club for a few years yet.
Last season, if you can believe it, there were unsubstantiated rumours that Pearce would be making a move to Collingwood! The 2006 Rising Star winner is a restricted free agent and you would imagine he would remain a Port Adelaide player, as he is 26-years old and Port Adelaide are slowly moving their way up the ladder, so he still has time on his side. He is also a born and bred South Australian.
Salopek has had major injury issues over the past few years and is now 27-years old, however if he could get his body right and back to the form of 2007, the 2002 number six draft pick could be quite valuable to many sides. He is an unrestricted free agent and is yet to play a game this season. He could possibly appeal to a Melbourne side, as he was originally recruited from the Dandenong Stingrays. He says however, that he would like to thank Port Adelaide fans for their support over the years by staying at the club. Should stay at the club.
Port Adelaide’s vice-captain should reman at Alberton. He has played in all but one match this season and the 26-year old is a key part of Port Adelaide’s best side. He is an unrestricted free agent, but don’t expect any talk here.
Port Adelaide have only one major worry in Troy Chaplin. All the rest should re-sign and look forward to the years ahead as Port Adelaide move into a new era under Matthew Primus in playing games at the Adelaide Oval and possibly challenging for a finals place in a few years time.
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