With many re-signings (including that of Charlie Dixon) and a few more rumours swirling around since Part 2, there’s still plenty of free agents who are or have the potential to be great players.
Here are five more of them.
Jordan de Goey: Collingwood (out of contract) One of the AFL’s most exciting packages when he gets into form, De Goey’s form has been up and down since that 2018 season mainly due to injury and a bit of inconsistency. He is still a star in the Collingwood forward/midfield group.
Between 2018 and the present, he’s averaging 16.3 disposals (16.7 career average), two clearances (2.2 career average), seven contested possessions (6.9 career average) 1.9 marks inside 50 (1.2 career average) and two goals (career average 1.30) per game. And despite these numbers, he hasn’t been selected in an All-Australian team.
At the end of 2018 De Goey was linked with quite a few clubs, including North Melbourne (who offered him $5 million over five years). But this time around he hasn’t been linked to as many clubs. Expect him to stay at the Pies for a couple more years.
Ed Curnow: Carlton (unrestricted free agent) Possibly the most underrated midfielder in the AFL, Curnow has played a super supporting role with Patrick Cripps over the years as well as being a leader. Yes, he beats out some better Carlton players to this spot (such as Levi Casboult and even Lachie Plowman), but these numbers show just how valuable and underappreciated the brother of Charlie is.
Ever since his debut in 2011, he’s averaged 21.1 disposals, 3.5 clearances, nine contested possessions, 5.3 tackles and 2.6 inside 50s. He was extremely underrated in 2018/2019, averaging 24 disposals, 4.7 clearances, 10.3 contested possessions, 5.8 tackles and 3.2 inside 50s. He even tagged out some of the AFL’s best mids (including Lachie Neale).
Again hasn’t been linked to many clubs, mainly because of his underrated status at Carlton and across the AFL, but I, along with many other fans (especially Blues fans), see him staying a Blue for life.
Jeremy Finlayson: GWS (out of contract) Yet another GWS star whose contract expires at season’s end, Jeremy Finlayson has been such a great player up forward and down back for the Giants. A left-footer who’s got speed and a long boot, he’s been such a handy player with Jeremy Cameron and Harry Himmelberg up forward.
Over this year and last year he’s averaging 10.9 disposals, 8.6 kicks, 4.3 marks, 1.5 marks inside 50, 1.7 tackles and 1.7 goals per game. When in the backline in 2018, he averaged 16.4 disposals, 11.5 kicks, 352.3 metres gained, 80 per cent efficiency, four rebound 50s, and 1.7 inside 50s per game.
After a super 2018/2019 where he kicked the second most goals among GWS players in 2019, it’s been a very inconsistent 2020 for the boy from country NSW (Culcairn) and he has been linked to a move from the Giants. I see him moving down to Victoria to potentially a club such as Essendon or even Carlton (a move to the Blues is highly unlikely though).
Rory Atkins: Adelaide (currently free agent) A star player back in their 2017 grand final year, Atkins has been a very consistent player for the Crows ever since his debut back in Round 16, 2015. With quick feet, great agility and a pretty solid left foot, Atkins was practically locked on in any wing each year.
Between 2016 and 2019, he averaged 20.9 disposals, 12.7 kicks, 1.7 clearances, 14.8 uncontested possessions, 399.5 metres gained, around 72 per cent disposal efficiency, 4.9 marks, 3.7 inside 50s and two tackles per game.
He has officially left the Crows, claiming that he was uncomfortable around teammates following his announcement that he was leaving. He’s been severely linked with the Gold Coast Suns and Victorian teams. I again see him moving back home to his home state of Victoria and to a club like Hawthorn.
Jordan Ridley: Essendon (out of contract) A man who has dramatically improved this year, the former East Burwood and Oakleigh Chargers defender in Jordan Ridley is easily a contender for most improved player for 2020, seeing a dramatic increase in numbers due to more game time.
Possibly Essendon’s best defender this year, he’s averaged 18 disposals, seven marks, 12.6 uncontested possessions, 5.4 one-percenters, 3.9 rebound 50s, 5.6 intercept possessions, 89 per cent disposal efficiency and 277.9 metres gained per game.
Again he hasn’t been linked to basically any club, with the man formerly of Box Hill Secondary being linked with the Lions just a little. But talks have begun with Essendon over a new contract for around four years. I also see him staying a Bomber for life.
Well, that’s that for free agency talks. There are plenty more free agents to talk about, but the 15 players I’ve written about are my best. And with plenty of trade talk around, there could be another series about who will be traded where.