The first day of free agency in the AFL is done and dusted, with two players officially making moves and others having deals put on the table.
The biggest story of the day, and possibly the biggest story that will happen this whole week of free agency, was the move of champion St Kilda player Brendan Goddard to a new home at Essendon. The Bombers put forward a four year offer at an estimated 750-800k per year, trumping the Saints three year offer.
Goddard officially became a Bomber this afternoon when the Saints told the media they would not try to trump Essendon’s offer. Unless St Kilda also snag a big target, which is unlikely, they will most likely receive a first round draft pick as compensation.
Goddard is overseas at the moment, but Essendon coach James Hird will front the media tomorrow to officially announce and explain the move.
The day kicked off with Fremantle making the first offer to Port Adelaide’s Danyle Pearce, who as a restricted free agent can have his deal matched by Port if they so choose. The Power have 72 hours to match Fremantle’s offer.
The next move of the day was one long expected before the week began. Adelaide midfielder/forward Chris Knights officially moved to Richmond, starting what many believe will be a big week at Tigerland for free agents. The former Crow played 96 games but only 5 this season, and the Tigers jumped at the opportunity to add depth and experience to their list.
As an unrestricted free agent he was able to accept the offer immediately.
The Tigers also announced another expected move, officially putting forward an offer for Port Adelaide defender Troy Chaplin. Like Pearce, Chaplin is a restricted free agent, so the 72 hour period applies to him as well.
With Port Adelaide expected to announce a new senior coach in the coming days, sorting out what to do with the free agents will be the first order of business.
Dan Richardson, manager of Bulldogs ruckman Will Minson and Geelong forward/midfielder Shannon Byrnes, says that he expects Minson to stay at the Bulldogs but, as previously thought, thinks Byrnes could be on the move. He told the media what most already knew – that Melbourne had ‘strong interest’ and he ‘hoped he (Byrnes) would find a home there’.
The 28 year old played in the 2007 and 2009 Geelong premierships, but missed out last year and only played 4 games this season for the Cats.
Melbourne midfielder Brent Moloney is currently overseas, but his agent has come out today and said that he has spoken to all 17 other clubs about securing the 2011 best & fairest winner’s services. He says that discussions are in early days, but it is expected a deal will be done. Essendon and Brisbane are believed to be the frontrunners.
West Coast forward Quentin Lynch has declined the offer to stay at the club next year, and will most likely move to Collingwood, but no deal has yet been officially offered. West Coast have said they will not match any offer other clubs put forward for Lynch.
Other players that have not yet had official deals tabled to them but have left their clubs include Bret Thornton (CARL), Jordan Russell (CARL) and Steven Salopek (PORT). Check BigFootyNews tomorrow evening for a wrap of day 2’s events.
Brendan Goddard (St Kilda, restricted) moved via FA to the Essendon Bombers
Chris Knights (Adelaide, unrestricted) moved via FA to the Richmond Tigers