Two separate trades – one that was officially struck late Tuesday and another that should land soon – are set to unlock the two biggest deals of the 2022 exchange period and help Melbourne offload Luke Jackson then secure Brodie Grundy.
While eight deals were lodged and ticked off by the AFL across a busy first three days of the exchange period, the machinations around how the Jackson and Grundy trades get done had remained somewhat clouded – until Tuesday.
Collingwood football boss Graham Wright on Monday told reporters negotiations between his club and Melbourne over a Grundy trade were “a fair way down the track”. Multiple reports indicated the Magpies had told the Demons they’d pay a portion of the dual All-Australian and dual best and fairest winner’s $1m-a-season salary for the next five years but wanted a pick inside the top 25 in the trade.
Watch Trading Day every weeknight from 5pm EST on Fox Footy – daily news and analysis of the AFL trade period. Stream it live or on-demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
By Tuesday afternoon, the Demons’ prospects of satisfying the Magpies’ demands strengthened significantly.
Firstly, the Demons traded away Picks 33, 43 and 53 to Port Adelaide in exchange for Pick 27, which is the free agency compensation selection the Power received for losing Karl Amon to Hawthorn. While the Dees, according to the Draft Value Index, paid ‘overs’ to acquire Pick 27, list boss Tim Lamb suggested the club didn’t intend to use Picks 43 and 53 in the draft, essentially meaning the club’s natural second-round selection has been upgraded.
NCA Newswire also reported on Tuesday that Fremantle would send out-of-contract swingman Griffin Logue, Darcy Tucker and a future third-round selection to North Melbourne. In return, the Dockers would receive future second, future third and future fourth-round picks. Those 2023 second-round and third-round selections attached to North were part of the rescue package handed to the club by the AFL, which stipulated the Roos had to use them in trades this year.
It means the Dockers are now better armed to appease Melbourne in a megadeal for Jackson, who requested a trade home to Western Australia and wants to get to Freo on a deal reportedly worth $900,000 per season.
Securing Jackson will likely require Fremantle to hand the Demons multiple first-round picks. The Dockers have reportedly offered Pick 13 and their future first to Melbourne for Jackson – an offer that was deemed insufficient and, subsequently, rejected by the Dees.
But as Herald Sun reporter Jon Ralph highlighted on Tuesday night, the extra future second-round selection from North Melbourne to Fremantle will be crucial, as that pick might not only satisfy the Dees in the Jackson deal, it could then also satisfy the Magpies in a Grundy deal.
“If Fremantle all of a sudden get in a future second-rounder from North Melbourne – that pick you’d imagine would be 19, 20 next year – they can say ‘we’ll give Pick 13 and that future first-rounder and that North Melbourne pick to Melbourne’,” Ralph told Fox Footy’s Trading Day.
LATEST TRADING DAY PODCAST – Tuesday Oct 4 trade wrap
“Melbourne then has that future second and they can hand that pick on to Collingwood, who want a pick within 25 for Brodie Grundy.
“Now there‘ll be some deals at the edges and they’ll trade future fourths to try and make it look better. But all of a sudden, the centrepiece of a deal can go to a couple of clubs to get three players to their homes.”
Ralph later indicated Pick 27 might also be enough for the Dees to strike a Grundy trade, although he added the selection was “a little bit light” – unless later pick swaps satisfied Collingwood.
The Age reported the Demons would ask Fremantle for that future second-round compo pick tied to North Melbourne to be part of the Jackson deal.
Blues get ‘steal of trade period’ | 02:59
Should Fremantle make a preliminary final next year, its 2023 first-round selection would fall between Picks 15 and 18. And should North Melbourne finish in the bottom four for a fourth straight year, its future second pick could land somewhere between Picks 19 and 23.
Add in Fremantle’s natural first-rounder this year (Pick 13), that would mean Jackson could be traded to the Dockers for three top-25 picks, which surely would be enough to satisfy Melbourne.
The Demons, no doubt, would prefer to part with Pick 27 in a Grundy deal, rather than the future second tied to North. Collingwood, no doubt, would prefer the latter.
The haggling, therefore, might continue for a few days, but at least all clubs now have options and are better armed to get deals done. It’ll just come down to who’ll blink first.