The free agency and trade periods commenced in late September with the trade period following the free agency. The trade period ended October 12 and there was plenty of activity. Port Adelaide's Karl Amon officially became a Hawk on a four year deal. Port will receive a second round draft selection as compensation.
Following the end of the AFL season, roster changes affected West Coast, Geelong, Sydney, North Melbourne, Carlton, Port Adelaide, Essendon, and Gold Coast.
Eagle midfielder and Jack Redden has retired. He was originally drafted by Brisbane where he played 129 games in seven seasons before crossing the Eagles in 2016. He played 134 games for the Eagles including the 2018 premiership. He was a key to that winning side and was voted Player of the Finals that year as well as finishing second in the best and fairest. West Coast delisted Jackson Nelson, Hugh Dixon, Patrick Naish, and Tom Joyce. Nelson, 28, was drafted in 2014 and played 102 games mostly in defense but could take a turn in the midfield. Dixon and Joyce were supplemental selections during the club's injury crisis. Dixon was originally with the Dockers and played 10 games for the Eagles while Joyce was sidelined for the year with an ankle injury.
Delistings and trade requests have started and first out of the gate were Brisbane, Essendon, Carlton, and Port Adelaide. Port has delisted three players and confirmed wingman Karl Amon will depart as an unrestricted free agent.. Throughout much of the season, it was speculated that Amon, 27 desired a return home to Victoria. Hawthorn, Carlton and St Kilda were all interested but he has opted for the Hawks and will sign in October when the free agency period opens. List manager Jason Cripps said, “Karl has been an outstanding clubman ... and he should be commended for his professionalism and maturity ... ".
The three delisted players are former Brisbane Lion Sam Skinner, father-son selection Taj Schofield, and midfielder Sam Mayes. Skinner, 25, was drafted by Brisbane in 2015 and played 3 games in an injury-riddled stint before being delisted at the end of 2020. Port signed him as a delisted free agent but he managed just 2 games for Port. Schofield is the son of former player Jarrad Schofield and was rookie-listed in 2020 but never made a senior appearance. Mayes, 28, was drafted by Brisbane in 2013 and played 101 games before requesting a trade home to South Australia at the end of 2018. He played 20 games for Port.
Eddie Betts played his 350th and final game in Round 23. It came after several weeks of discussions between him and the club with the club saying they would not be offering him a new contract. The announcement was made ahead of the final game of the year to give fans a chance to celebrate an amazing career and farewell (arguably) the most likable player and person to grace the game.
Betts was selected in the 2004 Preseason Draft and debuted in 2005. With his innate ability to kick impossible goals and create something out of nothing, he quickly became a fan favorite. He will go down in league history as one of the best - if not the best - small forward.