The free agency and trade period began in early October and ran for two weeks. A number of players have moved to other clubs. The biggest move was Kangaroo ruckman Todd Goldstein joining Essendon as a free agent. Goldstein, 35 years old, has signed a one-year deal with the Bombers, reuniting with former coach Brad Scott after 315 games with North Melbourne. The veteran holds the record for the most hitouts in VFL/AFL history and was an All-Australian in 2015. He will be handy addition with the retirement of Andrew Phillips and Brodie Grundy's exit to Sydney. Essendon's first-choice ruckman Sam Draper needed surgery in September on his groin and is not expected to return until January. Emerging ruckman Nick Bryan, 21 years old, signed a new two year deal in September.
Goldstein said, "I'm grateful for the opportunity Essendon has presented to me to continue my career ... I'm really excited to support and challenge Sam Draper and Nick Bryan as they continue to drive to be the best rucks they can be. I have admired their progression and look forward to working with them ... I want to thank the North Melbourne footy club for the opportunity to play football for more than 17 years and to their supporters for their unwavering support throughout my career."