‘Festering’ mess may spark AFL exodus
Another day, another bundle of trade rumours in the AFL.
The future of Adam Saad at Essendon remains unclear, with the Herald Sun reporting Richmond and Carlton are interested in the rebounding defender.
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Saad has been offered a four-year deal with the Bombers but is yet to sign. Western bulldogs great Bob Murphy said he has heard Melbourne looms as a possible destination if he chooses to leave Essendon, but the Demons have reportedly not officially started chasing him.
Also at Essendon, AFL.com.au reports Joe Daniher will be offered a four-year contract to remain in Melbourne.
The key forward has played just 15 games in three seasons because of injury troubles and last year had his trade request to Sydney denied.
Daniher has had issues with consistency but on his best day is an imposing target in forward 50 - something Essendon will need to find if he chooses to nominate another club as a restricted free agent.
Nine reporter Sam McClure believes Daniher may end up in Brisbane if he splits from the Dons.
Trade talk around the Bombers comes after Essendon delisted five players - including Shaun McKernan - at the end of a miserable campaign in which they finished 13th.
There have been allegations of "serious unrest" at the club after retiring star Tom Bellchambers was denied a farewell game, while questions remain over the uncertain future of goalsneak Orazio Fantasia.
Zach Merrett, Michael Hurley and Cale Hooker are also reportedly weighing up their futures and contemplating a possible departure from Tullamarine - the latter two rumoured to be among those upset at how Bellchambers was treated.
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Channel 7 reporter Tom Browne said the mixed response to decisions being made about Essendon's list was doing his head in.
"Some of the commentary on Bombers list is giving me whiplash," Browne tweeted. "Four days ago it was a disaster. Now a potential 'exodus' is being painted as bad.
"Reality probably somewhere in the middle. Some change will be a good thing. Need full commitment."
St Kilda champion Nick Riewoldt told Fox Footy some players look like they "don't believe or aren't fully invested in the direction" Essendon is going in, while AFL legend Gerard Healy urged coach Ben Rutten to ensure the cracks within the club don't widen.
"It's been a shocking season for the Bombers," Healy told On The Couch.
"They have finished in 13th position but more importantly I think and a real challenge for Ben Rutten, the new coach, is it does feel - there does seem to be this sort of division now.
"An unhappiness in the playing group, and that's what they have got to knock on the head quickly."
Melbourne legend Garry Lyon said it was important to stop rumblings of discontent from "festering" otherwise there could be major ramifications for the list.
"He (Rutten) needs to stop the festering, because you know what it's like, it grows," Lyon said.
"If they don't nip this in the bud as quickly as they can it's going to make for a tough summer, and it starts with (making a call on) Joe Daniher."
STAR CROW TO JOIN THE DANGER ZONE?
Adelaide star Brad Crouch is reportedly firming to join Geelong as a restricted free agent, despite wanting to stay at the Crows.
The midfielder is likely to be put on the trade table by the wooden spoon "winners" in the hope of getting some suitable compensation in return.
"Brad Crouch, everything right now points to him getting to the Geelong Football Club as a free agent," Herald Sun football reporter Jon Ralph told Fox Sports News.
"His manager Garry Winter will be fielding offers from multiple clubs in the next few days. The suggestion is though with (Cats star) Patrick Dangerfield lobbying that he would love this player on his team, that is a deal very likely to get done.
"I spoke to Mark Bickley the former Adelaide captain, he has Crouch on his FIVEaa radio show every week and he said Crouch would probably prefer to stay at Adelaide … but as he said he doesn't want to be in a big city, he doesn't want to be within Melbourne or Sydney, he'd much prefer a small place like Geelong."
Former Crows coach Graham Cornes believes the Adelaide outfit should pursue Western Bulldogs young gun Bailey Smith, telling SEN: "I want him. Offer him the world, stranger things have happened."
WHAT TO DO IF BIG BEN GOES ON THE MOVE
North Melbourne and Ben Brown have an agreement allowing the tall forward to explore his options and McClure believes the prominent goal-kicker will find himself at either Collingwood or Hawthorn.
Foxsports.com.au reports the Kangaroos may make a play for Melbourne's Tom McDonald as a replacement for Brown after the Demon endured a frustrating year on the fringes, playing just nine games.
Fellow Melbourne player Jack Viney is also weighing up his future, with the gun midfielder possibly leaving as a free agent. It's been reported Carlton and Geelong are interested in the 26-year-old if he and the Demons part ways.
Originally published as 'Festering' mess may spark AFL exodus