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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

AFL free agency has begun. The policy will allow players with long service to their clubs to explore other options at the conclusion of their respective seasons. There are conditions however, with some players being unrestricted free agents and others restricted. The policy came about after long and arduous discussions between the league and the AFLPA.

Just after the completion of the regular season, the AFL distributed the guidelines to all 18 clubs. Under the rules, restricted and unrestricted free agents may consider offers from rival clubs during the post-season period. The Free Agency period runs from October 1 through October 19, overlapping the October 8-26 trade period. An offer to a player only includes capped salary and capped ASA (Additional Service Agreements) amounts.

Under the rules, an unrestricted free agent may automatically move to the club of his choice. An offer to a restricted free agent may be matched by his club, which has right of first refusal over his services. If the unrestricted free agent player does not wish to remain with his original club, he must enter the Draft or seek a trade. The AFL has yet to determine a formula for compensating clubs with draft picks for the loss of free agents. The formula will be partly based on clubs losing more free agents than they gain in any single transfer period

The Guidelines as released by the AFL are:

A player who has served seven seasons or less at one AFL club and is now out of contract is not eligible for free agency if his club wishes to retain him. He may only move clubs via a trade or the Draft. If he delists himself, he is subject to the draft and may be selected by any club.

A player has served seven seasons or less at one AFL club and has been delisted:

- The player is a Free Agent and is eligible to field offers from all rival AFL clubs.

- The player must decide on the best offer of his choice from one rival club.

- The player can move AUTOMATICALLY to the new club of his choice.

- The original club which chose to delist him does not receive any compensation draft pick..

RESTRICTED FREE AGENT

A player who has served eight or more seasons at one AFL club, is one of the top 25% highest-paid players at his club, and now out of contract for the first time since March 1 in his eighth season.

- The player is eligible to field offers from all rival AFL clubs.

- If he wishes to change clubs, the player must decide on the best offer of his choice from one rival club.

- His club has the right to match the presented offer.

- If the club matches the offer, he may choose to remain with his original club, seek a trade or enter the Draft.

- If the club does not or can not match the offer, the player can move to the new club of his choice.

- His original club will receive a compensation pick for the loss of the player based on the above explained formula.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENT

A player who has served eight or more seasons at one AFL club, is not in the top 25% of the club's highest players and is now out of contract for the first time in eight seasons OR has served ten or more seasons at one AFL club, has come out of contract once during that period after March 1 in his eighth season and is now out of contract.

- The player is eligible to field offers from all rival AFL clubs.

- If he wishes to change clubs, the player must decide on the best offer of his choice from one rival club.

- His club does NOT have the right to match the presented offer, and the player can move AUTOMATICALLY to the new club of his choice.

- His original club will receive a compensation pick for the loss of the player, based on the aforementioned formula.

PLAYERS ELIGIBLE FOR FREE AGENCY

RESTRICTED
Josh Drummond (BRIS); Heath Scotland (CARL); Travis Cloke, Harry O’Brien (COL); Angus Monfries (ESS); Brent Moloney (MELB); Troy Chaplin (PA, has now moved to Richmond), Danyle Pearce (PA, has now moved to Fremantle); Luke McGuane (RICH); Brendon Goddard (St K, has now moved to Essendon, Jason Gram (St K).

UNRESTRICTED
Chris Knights (ADE, has now moved to Richmond); Simon Black, Ash McGrath (BRIS); Jordan Russell, Bret Thornton (CARL); Ben Johnson (COL); Ricky Dyson, Dustin Fletcher, David Hille, Nathan Lovett-Murray, Henry Slattery (ESS); Luke McPharlin (FRE); Shannon Byrnes (GEEL, has now moved to Melbourne), Paul Chapman, Corey Enright, Josh Hunt, Matthew Scarlett (retired), David Wojcinski (retired)(GEEL); Chance Bateman (retired), Thomas Murphy, Michael Osborne, Clinton Young (HAW); Matthew Bate, Lynden Dunn, Jared Rivers (MELB); Michael Firrito (NM); Brett Ebert, Steven Salopek, Jacob Surjan (PA); Shane Tuck (resigned at RICH); Jason Blake, Raphael Clarke, Justin Koschitzke (St K); Jude Bolton, Jarred Moore (SYD); Andrew Embley, Daniel Kerr, Quinten Lynch (has now moved to Collingwood), Mark Nicoski (WCE); Will Minson (WB).

Bret Thornton, Jordan Russell and Brent Moloney have already left their respective clubs to explore free agency options. Russell and Thornton each managed just seven games in 2012 for the Blues, while Moloney played 15 for the Demons but is believed to be out of favor with Demon Coach Mark Neeld.

Source: Patrick Keane, AFL Media Release, heraldsun.com.au

Article last changed on Saturday, October 06, 2012 - 7:15 PM EDT


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