If the Blues decide to pursue McCartin, he would come cheap in cost financially and at the draft. He would add depth to their key forward ranks since they have the recovering Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay already ensconced at the club.
The Saints drafted McCartin in 2014 but his disastrous run with head knocks – he had eight concussions as an AFL listed player – restricted him to 35 senior games over five seasons.
Meanwhile, GWS wants a trade deal for losing Jeremy Cameron comparable to the deal the Cats did last year for Tim Kelly to move to West Coast.
The Giants will demand two of the Cats’ first three first-round draft picks and either another draft pick or player after matching Geelong’s $4.5 million contract offer for free agent Cameron and so forcing them to trade for the forward.
The Giants have been consistent in wanting Brandan Parfitt as part of any trade for Cameron. There appears some flexibility on that but the Giants would prefer to bring a player as part of the deal.
Sources said the forward had been offered a five-year contract with an easily achievable trigger for a sixth year on a minimum of $900,000 a year, with regular incentive payments on top of that for the 27-year-old. Those incentive payments could see his contract reach close to seven figures some years.
GWS will use the Kelly trade to create a baseline against which to frame negotiations for Cameron. While Kelly was significantly younger than Cameron, he is also a midfielder and finding quality midfielders is harder than finding elite forwards.
Geelong received picks 14, 27, 37 in last year’s draft and West Coast’s first pick in this year’s draft for Kelly.
The Giants have meanwhile secured a replacement for Cameron with Fremantle agreeing to trade Jesse Hogan to the Giants.
While the free agency window is open, the trade period commences on Wednesday when a deal for Hogan is likely to involve whatever pick the Giants receive from West Coast for trading small forward Zac Langdon to the Eagles.
Essendon made a play for forward Ben Brown as a replacement for Joe Daniher moving to Brisbane but the North Melbourne full forward elected to take up an offer from Melbourne to join them.
Brown has asked North to trade him to the Demons after he passed a medical there and has agreed contract terms with the Demons.
Melbourne are also exploring options for trading Tom McDonald, who has two years remaining on his contract.
Essendon are still exploring options for a replacement key forward and hold some interest in Gold Coast’s out-of-favour forward ruck Peter Wright, a former top 10 draft pick. He is not a target as yet but they retain some interest.
Out-of-contract Giants midfielder Jye Caldwell has asked to be traded to Essendon to accept a four-year contract worth about $450,000 a year – an amount similar to the terms offered to remain at the Giants.
Sources said Port Adelaide had offered pick 26 (which has now moved out to 28 with compensation picks and is likely to move further) for Essendon forward Orazio Fantasia. Essendon rejected that offer and has asked for a first round pick.
Port has a next generation academy player Lachie Jones in this year’s draft for whom they want to make sure they have the requisite picks or points to be able to draft.
Zac Williams has already moved to Carlton as a free agent, with GWS receiving a first round pick – currently 10 – as compensation for losing the player, who has accepted a contract worth $800,000 a year plus incentives. Contracts below about that range do not draw first round picks as compensation.
Adelaide is weighing up whether to accept the compensation pick – second round currently 23 – for midfielder Brad Crouch, who has accepted a five-year contract from St Kilda on about $700,000 a year.
Adelaide had spoken strongly prior to the free agency window opening that anything less than pick two as free agency compensation for Crouch was inadequate.
If they match St Kilda’s offer it would force the Saints into trading for the player, most likely meaning they would have to part with their first pick which is currently 17.
So, by forcing a trade, Adelaide could potentially get a pick six places better than the compensation pick. Alternatively, they could seek a future first round draft pick from St Kilda.
Pacy midfielder Jed Anderson has still to sign a new contract at North Melbourne.
West Coast is keen to trade for Lions defender Alex Witherden, who was squeezed out of the Brisbane team this year. He has two years to run on his contract.
Michael Gleeson is an award-winning senior sports writer specialising in AFL and athletics.
Jake Niall is a Walkley award-winning sports journalist and chief AFL writer for The Age.