MELBOURNE Richmond coach Damien Hardwick wants the AFL to look at adopting the NFL's `Final Four' rule regarding free agency.
The National Football League introduced `Final Four' and `Final Eight' laws in 2010, when there was no salary cap as a collective bargaining agreement was not signed in time.
The top four clubs could only sign a free agent if they lost a free agent, while the franchises ranked fifth to eighth were restricted in how much they could spend on free agents.
Hardwick lamented the league was "half pregnant" in its pursuit of equalisation through free agency, which was introduced at the end of the 2012 season.
"We have the mechanism in play, but we don't have all the parts in play," Hardwick said, two days after Geelong counterpart Chris Scott called for free agency to be scrapped.
"Free agency is a good mechanism ... (it) is here to stay, we just have to make sure we do it properly."
Under the proposal, the Cats would likely be unable to sign in-demand Melbourne defender James Frawley.
Hardwick pointed to the Tigers' unsuccessful pursuit of disgruntled St Kilda midfielder Luke Ball in 2009 as evidence of how hard it is for struggling clubs to attract genuine stars.
"The problem at the moment is there are destination clubs and trying to get quality players to go to clubs that are lower on the ladder (is hard)," he said.
"Believe me, I've been there ... there was no way he (Ball) was coming to the Tigers when we were at the bottom of the ladder.
"We need to fix that."
Hardwick also suggested clubs should be able to trade players mid-contract.
"That to me is the greatest form of equalisation we can look for," he said.
Instead of a mid-season draft, as supported by Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley on Wednesday, Hardwick said extending the deadline for finalised squads could work.
"So your list isn't structured until the first of May. You have the ability to move players up to a certain date then it stops," he said.
Hardwick said the proposal would free up the likes of Ryan O'Keefe, who has been stuck playing in Sydney's seconds this season, to play more AFL in 2014.