Brendon Goddard. Photo: Wayne Taylor
UPDATE: Football's brave new world of free agency has begun with a bang with Saint Brendon Goddard lodging the paperwork for Essendon's four-year offer with the AFL.
Goddard's management confirmed the Bombers had lodged a "form 41" heads of agreement with the AFL on the opening morning of free agency.
The Saints have confirmed they have received notification from the AFL. They have 72 hours to decide whether they will match the Essendon offer.
And Fremantle has also lodged documentation for Port Adelaide restricted free agent Danyle Pearce to join the club.
Essendon CEO Ian Robson said the Bombers would now respect the free agency process before making any further comment. “We can confirm the club has made offer to secure the services of Brendon Goddard after he nominated Essendon as his destination of choice as a free agent,” Robson said.
“We must now be respectful of the restricted free agency process and will not make any further comment until this process is completed.”
Goddard, a restricted free agent, has yet to recommit to the Saints, who have offered him a three-year deal worth about $1.9 million.
In the unlikely event that the Saints do match the Essendon offer, and Goddard does not accept it, he can either nominate for the draft or seek a trade.
If he does leave, the Saints are likely to receive a first-round pick as compensation. The Age revealed Essendon was Goddard's most likely destination last month.
Defender Raphael Clarke is an unrestricted free agent, with the Saints yet to determine whether they want to retain him.
West Coast forward Quinten Lynch, an unrestricted free agent who played 22 of 24 matches this season, was offered a one-year deal by the Eagles but has opted to look elsewhere.
The 209-game veteran told Eagles coach John Worsfold on Saturday he was leaving after being offered a two-year deal in Victoria.
Collingwood, Melbourne and Carlton have been pursuing the versatile 29-year-old.
If the Magpies secure Lynch it would seem more likely they would need to free up some salary-cap space, meaning Sharrod Wellingham may be more likely to move.
Wellingham will meet with the Eagles and Dockers this week about a move back to Western Australia. Melbourne and Port Adelaide are pursuing the premiership wingman.
Melbourne midfielder Brent Moloney is a restricted free agent, with industry sources indicating the Brisbane Lions have now shown greater interest than Port Adelaide.
Richmond could make a move to secure Adelaide's Chris Knights. The midfielder is an unrestricted free agent and can move to the club of his choice, even if the Crows match any offer.
He managed only five senior matches this season for a career total of 96.
The Knights deal could impact on whether the Tigers secure Port Adelaide defender Troy Chaplin, who is a restricted free agent.
Port Adelaide is also set to officially offer Essendon's Angus Monfries a four-year contract with the promise of extended time in the midfield. It's understood the Bombers are keen to retain him but only on a two-year deal.
The Power has also expressed interest in Jordan Russell, the South Australian native who has quit the Blues.
Greater Western Sydney has shown interest in Jacob Surjan, the unrestricted former Port Adelaide vice-captain. The defender played 13 matches this season, taking his career tally to 121.
Geelong has met with former Melbourne defender Jared Rivers as it seeks a replacement for retired champion Matthew Scarlett. Brisbane has also expressed some interest.
There are six restricted free agents and 28 unrestricted free agents on the official AFL list.
For the first time, the overall deal-making period will run for a month, ensuring the AFL continues to grab headlines during the spring racing carnival and into cricket season.
The three-week trade period, starting next Monday, will overlap the final fortnight of free agency before having a week to itself, concluding on October 26.
There are also three free-agency periods for delisted players, beginning on November 1.
The national draft will be held on November 22 on the Gold Coast.
Meanwhile, Melbourne has expressed interest in Port Adelaide midfielder David Rodan, who is likely to be cut by the Power. Rodan is not a free agent.